Well it’s December and so my husband and I knew we had another difficult decision to make. 

Do we buy a real Christmas tree this year or dig out my trusty artificial tree from the attic?

I always grew up with a real tree and didn’t acquire the artificial until I moved into my bachelorette apartment years back.  

The first Christmas with my now husband he wanted nothing to do with the artificial tree and couldn’t fathom why anyone would ever want one. 

Then we spent our first Christmas with a toddler and realized the many panic attacks that occur when there is a 6ft tall tree decorated with glass ornaments and all lit up with electric lights.  

That being said for the past three years we’ve used a tiny artificial tree that was nestled high above reaching hands on a coffee table.  

This year is different our oldest son is wise enough to understand do not touch means that he will have to sit in time out and that Old Saint Nick is watching. 

Ultimately my husband won this year and so we trekked out in the snow to a local tree farm. 

One of the benefits of living in a climate like Pennsylvania is that we can all bundle up and walk through a maze of beautiful Christmas trees.  

You watch in delight as your poor Father crawls on the frozen ground to begin sawing down the family tree.  

Then you watch in amusement as he fights the twine he brought from home trying to tie down the enormous tree you pray does not fly off your roof on the commute home.  

Things went a little differently for our family this year.  

Yes, we made it to the tree farm and out into the beautiful rows of trees but I wasn’t there long.  

Not only was it cold on this particular day but there was a bitter wind.  

Matthew our youngest son along with his developmental delay has a few sensory issues as well.  

He wanted no part in the outdoors on this day so I left my husband and older son to pick out the tree and headed back to car.  

While trying to put Matthew in his car seat a young couple exited the car next to us, along with their tiny barking dog  (I will restrain from my rant on people taking their tiny dogs everywhere like it’s no big thing.  What if I did the same with my cat or my 130lb dog?). 

The dog apparently doesn’t care for children and immediately was barking at Matthew.  

So of course this made Matthew cry and continue to cry until he was asleep.  

Matthew slept through the fun of bringing in the tree and setting it in the stand.  

I knew that this would be another year where Matthew was unable to hang ornaments on the tree but I wasn’t going to be upset about that this year.  

Because, this year I could watch his brother help trim the tree for the first time ever and I knew when Matthew woke up from his nap and I brought him downstairs his little eyes would gaze in wide wonder and the marvelous tree his family decorated. 

When he woke up I showed him the tree and he immediately turned his attention to television.  

Eventually, he noticed the tree and realized that we could not leave him alone with that tree for one minute.  

Matthew cannot help but play with the branches and try and pull every last ornament off to promptly put it in his mouth.  

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