Well, I am officially homesick. Three months in, three months before I go home again. Maybe it’s the holidays, maybe it’s because with the basement finished I have less to focus on. Maybe it’s because this is the longest I’ve been away from home without one of my girls with me. Likely a combination of all of the above. Either way, I am missing Toronto.
This time of year definitely has a different feel, being in San Francisco. There’s no anticipation of the first big snow, the trees still have their leaves, things are still green. One thing in common is that people are bundling up here too. I can’t believe how often I overhear people talking about how cold it has gotten or the friendly shop clerk telling everyone to, ‘stay warm’. With it mostly between 7-12 degrees celsius here I feel like I should be awaiting the Halloween cold snap instead of counting the days till Christmas. Apparently I do have that Canadian cold blood. I can’t help but feel a sense of egoistical pride when I think of Californians trying to survive a Toronto winter. You think this is cold? *scoff* Let me tell you about the ice storm of 2013 when it was thirty degrees below freezing and everyone lost power. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy not having to wear two pairs of pants on the regular, however, so I will try to keep my scoffing to a minimum.
One thing that I have been anticipating to stave off the blues is getting our Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Picking out the right tree and finding the perfect place in the house for it; the earthy fresh smell and the happy colourful lights that fill up the room… Corny for sure, but I love it. The day after Thanksgiving we went to the store to pick out our tree. I was a little bummed out because they were still tied up in twine. How can you possibly evaluate a Christmas tree if it has its branches all tied up! Nevertheless I persevered. Alan was not nearly as interested in finding the perfect tree as I was. Amongst the new families with their young children I felt like I was the toddler pulling on Alan’s sleeve. What about that one? How ‘bout this one? Do we want the longer pine needles or the shorter ones? How tall should it be? In the end we picked a stout 6 foot Douglas Fir to take home.
At the store we discussed decorations and Alan suggested that we avoid buying new bulbs/ornaments in favour of slowly accumulating them through the years from gifts or inheriting some from our parents. I was skeptical. A Christmas tree with no decorations? Seemed like it would be naked. I acquiesced but decided that no Christmas tree can be complete without a star. We bought some multicoloured string lights and I picked out a star for the top. It turned out perfect. Though this year we only have a star, I am looking forward to all the stories we will be able to tell about our decorations as we slowly accumulate them. Later that night, our house filled with the sweet scent of pine needles and our tree all lit up I felt a little less homesick.