Today, my family and I went to a tree farm and bought our Christmas tree. The man who sold it to us was full of the right kind of charm, in his flannel shirt and with his well-used tools. It was a lovely, old-fashioned Christmas experience, very Currier and Ives . . . except that it was nearly 70 degrees.
We get winter in North Carolina. Sometimes.
Last winter, for example, we got to go sledding twice. We missed several days of school, because even a mild dusting of snow causes mass panic here. It cracks my older daughter and me up though. We spent her early childhood in Alaska, where there was a lot of snow, but never a Snow Day.
This winter hasn't arrived yet. I've worn a jacket twice so far, and only in the morning. Santa, in the Christmas parade, looked a little sweaty.
Mostly, I've enjoyed the milder weather in my new home. It's rather nice not to feel like I'm taking my life into my hands to walk my dog on a December day. And I really like having fresh produce any time I want.
But it still feels kind of wrong to buy my Christmas tree in short sleeves and flip-flops.
My sister spent three years in Hawaii and she always said that Christmas didn't feel very Christmasy there. I get what she means. My images of the season have fires in the fireplace and cute hat and mitten sets on my girls. Hot chocolate really tastes better if you're cold.
Still, when you're in your own living room, and it's dark outside, and the tree is lit, and the carols are playing on Pandora, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least on the inside.