if your name has been deleted off the side of our list, don't be offended. todd deletes them at random to make a point. it's nothing personal.


I thought I might amuse myself and compare last year's Christmas tree to this years. I suppose that you and I might have both imagined something a little more.... well something a little more this year considering that we are in the states. But lo, that was not in the cards for us, so here he is! A gentle little Cyprus. How fitting. But the happy thing about this one is that it is real, but we won't have to throw it away.

I have also been comparing last year to this one. Last year was, ironically, so much about things. I think that I felt so trapped and constricted in our 6 by 6 pink and red bedroom in our last host families house that I became fixated on things. When we finally moved out, I found a value in simple things that I had never felt before. I felt like I was buying our freedom and independence one fork, one pillow, one bag of flour at a time. Every time I went to town, I came back with new freedoms. A new broom, paint, pig tail buckets... their significance was astounding. (i am almost embarrassed that i used that word on the blog... but nothing else seemed to fit.) We then created the closest thing to a conventional life that we have ever had before, or since. We had a house, a yard, and even a dog and a cat. We had schedules..we went to bed early, got up early, cleaned and cooked almost every night. By the time we left Belize to come home for Christmas, we were practically the closest we have been to regular, functioning humans.

And now we are here. and this year Christmas is so much not about things for us. Things have lost their value to us. The way I see Christmas advertised is almost funny to me. Christmas shopping seems almost irrelevant and the kind of presents we want to give seem so different. We almost seem to be living even a little more simple now then we were last year, in our small apartment. So I think this fun little tree is a perfect symbol of Christmas to me, and i think todd too, this year. It is still 'alive' and still 'sweet' so to speak, but just a little different.