We have had this little Christmas tree in our dining room for years, decorated simply, with white lights, rafia garland, and yarrow picked from the backyard each July.
But there was a year that I needed to simplify. It was the year that I was on modified bed rest with a difficult pregnancy, and I decided that we could certainly do without dozens of cookies and fresh cut greenery...and this small tree. Ron kept asking when we were going to put up the dining room tree, and I kept saying that we could do without it this year.
Then one evening I was called into the dining room...as decorating consultant. Ryan was home on college break, and Ron had enlisted his help. So the two of them assembled and trimmed the little tree, while I sat in a chair and directed this small scale operation. (As I recall, I eventually got up and helped with the yarrow.)
I kept wondering why this Christmas tree seemed to be so important to Ron. Why did he insist that it be decorated? There was the tree in the living room, and other festive touches elsewhere. Wasn't that enough for this year of simplifying?
Then I learned the reason.
It was not this view that was so important to him...
...it was this view.
Ron told me that this is the view that he sees when he gets home from work at the end of the day. It is a welcoming window to him. It says that the long day is over. It says now you are home. It says it is Christmas inside.
So now each year as we decorate the little dining room tree, I think of it as Ron's tree, a part of his welcoming window.