Yep, you read it right: I now have my very own Christmas tree! Wanna see?

Gail’s Christmas Tree

My tree was actually one of the first photos taken by the snazzy new Nikon D40x Marc and I bought as an early Christmas gift to ourselves. But of course, my dad’s the one who took the photo—Marc and I are still newbies when it comes to photography.

You’re probably wondering why I’m such a big fuss over this tree. Well, let’s just say it has something to do with ownership, and the fact that I’ve always wanted to put up a Christmas tree.

Now, before you hate my parents for depriving me of a Christmas tree, allow me to explain.

Before we let the dogs stay inside our house (I think that was around 15 years ago), we used to have this four-feet-tall Christmas tree. Every time November neared to a close, my sister and I would help our parents put up the tree. We enjoyed it, especially the decorating part. It was like having an arts and crafts session with the whole family, a bonding session where everyone had a part to play.

And then there were the gifts that my mom placed under the tree. My sister and I were always trying to guess what was inside—sometimes we guessed the contents wrong, but sometimes we were right. Seeing those gifts under the tree brought anticipation for the two of us—it was like Christmas really had something for us to look forward to.

Although the dogs were mainly the reason why my parents stopped putting up a tree for Christmas, I had always thought that it was also because our family had been going through a rough time then. My mom had a really bad argument with her brother, which resulted to us moving from the family compound to another home. That was also the first time we were living in a different home without my grandmother.

We didn’t put up a Christmas tree on our first year in this house, as well as the years after that. I liked to think that it was because we were settling in, but a part of me always believed that sadness had some part in it.

As the years passed, we got over what happened and became happier again, but we kind of lost the habit of putting up a Christmas tree. The most we did was drape Christmas lights all over the trees in our garden. But no Christmas tree. We never brought it out again. And when we finally did, it was already too weathered and dilapidated—it couldn’t even stand up anymore. I tried to beg my dad for a new one, but he explained to me that it wouldn’t be practical since we had a lot of dogs who would cheerfully turn the tree into a holiday chew toy.

I had hoped that I would get a new Christmas tree when I got married last year, but our tiny house just couldn’t accommodate it. But now, I have my tree, many thanks to my Aunt Angelina. It’s only one-foot tall, but hey, it’s still a Christmas tree.

From the way things are going, it seems like this might be our last Christmas here in our home—we’ve seriously decided to move for a change in environment. I find it really fitting that I’d have a tree put up this year, no matter how small it is. It’s like some weird symbolism of new beginnings, you know?

Ah. Don’t mind me. I’m just really sentimental over Christmas trees.