Our first tree.

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We have a Christmas tree.  It's our first ever.  And it makes me feel both really grown-up and terribly young, at the same time.

Our tree is nothing fancy, really.  We bought it second-hand and seeing its nearly barren branches, with our single strand of lights wrapped just three times around, it reminds me of my parents.  But not as they are now.  This tree doesn't compare to theirs, theirs being laden with multitudes of delicate ornaments collected over the last three decades, showered with tinsel and aglow with thousands of blinking flashing lights.  No, this tree reminds me of my parents before they became parents, a version of which I only know through photos.

Photos from one of their first Christmases, with their first tree, maybe right after they married.  They were young, with thick hair and unlined faces.  And their tree was modest.  Sparsely decorated but you could see it was still put together with care and love.

To start, we only had a few ornaments, the nicest of which were given to us as gifts (like our little doggie above, that my sister-in-law Tania gave us when Jeans was just an idea).  And at first, I felt a bit shy about our tree.  It didn't look very fancy and I certainly didn't have a preconceived vision for it.  There was no colour palette or theme.  It was, in a word, modest.

But thinking back to those faded photos and seeing that young newlywed couple, crouched down in front of their tiny tree, smiling for the camera, it reminded me that everyone has to start somewhere.  Even my parents, with all their current successes and accomplishments, had a humble beginning.

And so, now.  This is ours.