This year I am so embarrassed. Last year we bought a living three-foot tall pine tree. Sweet little thing, quiet, good natured. You know the type--Charlie Brown but fuller and comes to a point at the top. I hung only the lightest of ornaments on it's delicate branches. Kept it simple and sweet. Took lots of pictures for the "hall of Christmas trees," pictures going back to the Kennedy administration.
After Christmas we rolled the tree named Sweet Tree out to the deck where she spent a happy summer in the sun. It was her time off, no elves under-foot, just sunshine and cool water. By Thanksgiving she looked twice as tall as last year. Her little limbs were still short and limp but every once in a while an awkward teenage limb would reach out well beyond the "normal" growth. It was like having pimples, poor thing. The weather changed. Christmas was coming. We couldn't just leave her out in the cold so we brought her inside and wrapped a white sheet around her belly. We placed gifts at her feet and bird ornaments on her limbs. Her posture could use a little help, but she's our girl and we love her.
I don't feel half as embarrassed now that Sweet Tree is out of the closet and the center of attraction for this Christmas, although I find my head leaning to one side now and then.