When I married my hunky Jewish husband, he had no idea I was such a Christmas-head.


We’ve had our holiday issues. Said hunk wasn’t that into my Christmas tree. In fact, not at all, bless him.


But as our years together seasoned, my tree collecting accelerated. There was the teal one I found on sale for my son’s room when he was born. And the subsequent white one for my daughter when she burst on the scene. There was the small forest of gold ones for the mantle, in varying sizes, and the fabulous one with fiber optics. Yes, the broken strobe effect potentially caused seizures, but it still seemed worth it.


And of course, my holiday magnum opus crested with the annual lighting of my live tree. I’d hunt and gather a blue noble so large that we once had to unhinge the front door to get it inside our modest bungalow, scraping off sheet rock as we wedged it into position.


But lo, how all these trees delight and fill me with joy! Sitting up late on a December evening, I reminisce. My dad cursing with the tree stand. A glass ornament combusting, too close to a green twinkle light. That unforgettable year our dog, Noodle, peed on the extension cord and started an electrical fire. It’s about the memories, beautiful and tragic and familiar.


It’s tradition for the hubs to ask, “Do we really need another tree?” as I drag the latest one into a bare nook.


And I always retort, “It’s Christmas,” snuggling under his arm, batting my flocked eyelashes. “It’s not about needs, hon, it’s about …”


“I just like ‘em,” I admit.


And being the mensch that he is, he whispers back, “I know,” with a wink.


We don’t get snow. Or fun faux-fur boots. But here in our house, I get a hunky Jewish husband who understands my silly, jolly folly. May you all have someone who lights you up this season. And may you all enjoy the holiday lights of your choosing.


Especially the eleventy-billion twinkling from my tree(s).


Cate Berry is an Austin-based children’s book author and mother of two. She also teaches writing workshops for young people at cateberry.com

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