I debated getting a tree this year because of the kitten. The kitten is a climber, and a leaper offer of things. Given his history with my houseplants, a tree in the house seemed like asking for trouble. But then I realised that this is my first Christmas in the new home, my first Christmas in my newly restored life. Since, you know, I've been in storage for the past five years at my parents' house, hibernating until the wings were fully mature. And I missed all of my Christmas decorations, since only a very few got unpacked, the essential ones that it couldn't be Christmas without. And that dammit I wanted a tree, even if it meant taping the cat to the bathtub for the next couple of weeks. Which, you know, might not be a bad idea anyway.
This is the first time I've put up a tree by myself in....a long time. Before this blog started. Before I met my husband. Before I had to worry about things like could I lift this box or reach to put this ornament on this branch without paying for it later in physical therapy. And while turning the brass screws on the stand, I realised that I'm less lonely doing this alone than I have been the past five years at my parents' house, helping them in the most precious of our Christmas traditions. Somehow, returning to those same rituals year after year by circumstance rather than choice made me curiously, painfully homesick, despite the fact that I still found joy in them, despite the fact that for so many years that had been home, especially at Christmas.
I realised that it's good to be home. Here. By myself. In my own little town of Bethlehem. It's good to be me. At long last, again. At the moment it would also be handy if the me that I am again were just a smidge taller, so I could reach the top without standing on a chair. But I'll take the me that is.