I have a reputation of picking the tallest, fullest christmas tree on the lot. Ever since I can remember my family would pile into our big blue suburban the weekend after Thanksgiving and head to a local tree farm. Once there, we would carefully inspect all the trees before choosing the lucky one. With an axe as old as himself, my dad would then cut down the chosen tree and we would watch with awe as it was put through the shaker and netter (I am sure there is a more techinal name for that machine that bundles the trees) and then we would join the other hundreds of families driving home with a tree on top of their car. The rest of the day was then spent unwrapping all those crazy, sometimes ugly ornaments we have made throughout the years. Well, all that ended one year during high school when I insisted on getting a tree that belonged in Times Square rather than the Dorosz household. It took us over an hour to just cut through the trunk and I cannot even tell you how many more hours to lug it home, drag it through the house, trim it, and set it up. Ever since then, my parents (much to my chagrin) have used an artificial tree. This year I am happy to report that I have returned to my roots and have a chosen a tree that belongs in a house with large rooms and a tall ceiling rather than our small London flat! And I LOVE it! Besides that fact that we had to excessively trim one side to fit the tree in the corner of our "reception room" and is now weighted heavily to one side causing it to topple over when touched, I love it! I love the fresh pine smell, the beauty of the real tree, and the twinkling lights (even though they are crazy expensive). One thing, however, that I do miss is our decorations. Our 5 boxes of Christmas decorations did not make the cut on the list of things to bring to London so I had to decorate this year's tree with ribbon and ornaments from the 99p (99cent) store instead of all the wonderful ornaments that have been given to me over the years by my great Aunt Helen. I am also missing our stockings, tree skirt, wreath, Charles Dickens houses, and all those other odds and ends that I love to fill my home with during the holidays. Regardless, we are going to make the best of spending Christmas in London (especially if my parents make it here...long story for a blog entry in the near future)! Over the next few weeks, we plan to see all the various lighting displays, go ice skating on one of the many rinks, and spend an evening listening to the Christmas carolers in Trafalger Square. Here is to a wonderful holiday season (pic of the toppling Christmas tree to come..stay tuned!).