"Bob, I've never cut down a tree for Christmas. I'm a city boy," said Karl.
We piled the girls into the van and drove out to Alhambra Valley Tree Farm. Running the girls up and down the hill, I thought, was good for burning a few calories. We found a really good cedar tree.
"Gather round, let's ask this tree if we can take it home," I said.
Crafty Girl said, "Trees don't talk!"
"Maybe if you are quiet, you'll be able to hear it," I said.
We held hands, encircling the tree. "Spirit of the mountain, of the soil, of the water, air, and sun, thank you for the gift of this tree. Thank you for the shelter it has offered the birds and other small creatures. Shall we bring it home to remind us of these things? Is this the tree for us to celebrate this season?" We paused. A pulse of "Yes, take this tree" passed through us.
"I heard it!" exclaimed Crafty Girl.
During the ride home the harmony we felt in that moment dissolved during that most favorite pastime, "Torment each other till we all cry." But as it is with most things like that, the mood quickly shifted back to "we are all bestest friends." We made up silly syllable songs to the tune of Jingle Bells.
Goeeng, goeen goeeng! Goeeng, goeen goeeng! Goh-guh-goh, g' goeeng!
Meanwhile, at Willow House, Liz began a frenzy of cookie baking.
I learned that the reason we string cranberries is to be "food" for the forest sprites that are living in the Yule Tree, as they enjoy the warmth of your hearth and home.
Cupcakes are food for us. I want some pizza.