We will not be getting a live tree this year because we'll be gone for almost 10 days of December.
Usually, we have one artificial tree with all of the kids' ornaments on it, and a bigger, live tree with the "fancier" ones. After Jack died, the Kids' Tree became more precious to me than ever, and I've even started putting "non-Christmas" items on it, as a wonderful way to touch and remember special photographs and keepsakes once a year, such as Legos, and small crafts the kids made in school. I even tied our old house key on it with a ribbon, to remember where our family used to live.
Andrew and I set up the artificial tree today (in under a minute-- thank you pre-lit trees!) and I'll ask Margaret and Tim whether they would like to decorate it with the kids' ornaments or the fancy ones this year. Can't wait to see Andrew's reaction to ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS!
Love, joy, wonder, pain, and longing-- this season has it all.
Here's one of my favorite pictures from Christmas past when we picked out a tree: