Since I landed on the U.S. soil 10 years ago, I have been slowly getting used to Christmas. To someone who did not grow up with Christianity, Christmas looks scary – bright lights everywhere, the nativity scene, the pressure of giving good gifts, the shopping crowd, the travelling, being careful not to accidentally tell any kids Santa is fake, etc. Lights on all the houses keeps me up at night. The only part of the Christmas tradition I actually enjoy, is the Christmas tree.
My first Christmas here, I went to an outlet where I saw a big, well decorated tree standing in the middle of a market square. People were smiling and hugging and taking pictures under the tree, there was Christmas music playing, and some restaurant even put a few tables under the tree for couples to dine. I was so moved by the holiday atmosphere a lit tree provides and decided that I wanted one my own. And I want a big one! Not something tucked into the corner of a dark low-ceiling room, I want a big one free standing in the middle of the two story hall or tall living space, next to a big window so I can see it from outside, so I can bathe in the light when I watch snow fall in cold winter nights!
This year, with most of the immediate family living overseas, Slav and I have the luxury to stay home for a Christmas-for-two. We both need to write for work, but we can do that from home. So the whole week of Christmas and New Years will be lots of snugging and sipping hot tea in our pjs. We do not plan to entertain guests, so likely we will be cooking a couple Polish traditional Christmas dish, And the good part, We will have a tree!
Planning ahead, I got a tree at 70% discount last January. Yes, you heard it right, I bought a brand new, pre-lit tree for December 2015 on January, 7th, 2015 (we are very cheap). It is 8 feet tall and very well-rounded. The tip of each branches are white, so it looks like it has snow on it – something we miss so so so much.
You might notice that there is no gifts under the tree – we decided to not do gifts for each other, to which Slav gave a huge sigh of relief.
We indeed ordered a few things for the whole family, which we have being eyeing on for months, including a new king mattress and a pasta maker. I had the mattress in my Costco shopping cart for months now and the Christmas discounts pulled the triggers. 🙂 I have to tell you more about the mattress – because it is a pretty big deal to both of us. We always get cheap, second-hand mattress off Craigslist, which were pretty beaten up (again, we are very very cheap). So this is the first new mattress any of us has ever gotten in the States. We have been sleeping on the new mattress for two nights and these are the best sleep I could remember! It turns out we love firm mattresses, and all the second hand ones are pretty saggy. I do not remember how many times I wake up with a broken back. And now I cannot wait to get to bed!
We also put out a modern “tree” in our bedroom for some Christmas feels. We had a tabletop tree for years when we lived in an apartment and did not have room for a real tree. Now it is living on our side-table. I guess this will be all of Christmas spread this year. I am very much looking forward to sipping some hot cocoa under my tree in Christmas morning!