In the dark days of November we set up a Christmas tree. Our family tradition has been to take a trek on the day after Thanksgiving to cut one from a local family who sells them. There was not much snow when we got there, just some patches in the shaded spots, but we were in the spirit nonetheless. We have a fairly tall ceiling but the one we found was much shorter. It seemed just right, however, so we made quick work with the saw and carried it to pop onto the roof rack.
While the rest of them tied the tree to the car, I walked to the front door. The field of trees spreads out behind the house and they had a small table set up on the shallow porch. They had a few wreaths for sale and a sign that offered maple syrup. Since Covid they have had a metal cash box to make payments, on the honor system. They turned a porch window into a payment window and I waved them down inside. We have been buying maple syrup from them and was hoping to do that again. I then noticed the hand-written sign that said this would be their last year.
The couple who sells the trees is ready to retire and even though they sell the trees just a couple months of the year, it is a lot of work. I thanked them for so many years of Christmas trees and the joy they have brought our family. Our kids had been coming there since they were small and many a tree from there has filled our house with green and light over the dark months. It was a bit sad, having shared this small part of our lives with these neighbors for so many years, knowing it was coming to an end, but I am a big believer in the opportunity that change brings. Our kids have passed the threshold into adulthood so our world is changing anyway. This is one more small piece of it.
Today is the last day for this tree in our house. It is time to remove the ornaments we have collected over the years and pack them into boxes until November. Taking the Christmas tree down is symbolic of the transition to a new year. Lots of things will be new this year and I hope most of them are positive. I can’t help but be optimistic. At this point it is a habit. Happy New Year. Here’s to good things to come in 2023. There are reasons to be pessimistic, I know, but I will take the positive wherever I can find it.