There is almost nothing that my fiancee loves more than decorating for the holidays. Since she had been away in Hong Kong for a week and a half during Thanksgiving, I decided that the best homecoming present I could get her was a Christmas tree, thus dedicating the entire day upon her return to decorating our place for the holidays.

I decided to share this wonderful plan with a friend of mine, who not only thought it was a great romantic idea, but also thought that she would also steal it from me and do the same for her partner.

So off we went, the Jew and the Armenian, in search of the perfect Christmas tree in my little four-door car. Now, it isn’t quite the same as living on the East Coast and getting all bundled up, feeling that crisp air as you breathe in deep. We were in tee-shirts and flip flops, and although I hate to be one to play into stereotypes, we drove straight over the the Home Depot.

We spent quite a long time with a very nice guy who was very patient with us and kept opening tree after tree to help us find the perfect ones. If you can’t quite envision how different this process is on the West Coast, let me show you:

You can see the blue sky and palm trees in the distance.

You can see how we managed to fit one on the roof and one in my little Ford Focus. I am sure we were something to see!

We helped each other put up the two trees, and I waited impatiently for my love to come home!

She was very excited and surprised because she wasn’t even sure if we were going to have one at all. For me it was a no brainer because I knew how much she loved having a tree. We have made the commitment that when we have children we will raise them Jewish, but that does not mean that we aren’t planning to share in the holiday traditions that have meant so much to her growing up. This sparked more conversation for us about how we are in a wonderful place in our lives and our relationship, and that we determine what path our family takes.

We spent the whole day putting up decorations and talking about the significance of each item. We decorated our place not just with a tree, but with a mix of decorations celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.

In fact, if you look very closely you can even see the dreidels hanging on the tree.

We were in the holiday spirit and made sure to water the tree daily, to keep it healthy and green.

We opened the blinds and put the lights on each night, enjoying the compliments from passers-by. As we lit our Hanukkah candles each night, we let the glow of the tree lights compliment the candle light.

We left town to go on a trip over Christmas and New Year’s. We spent 9 days exploring a few cities abroad in 40 degree weather, and we enjoyed seeing lights glow all around with the brisk weather, which felt more the norm to us both, being from the East Coast.

We returned home to 80 degree weather and our tree dry and lifeless. We put on our shorts and shoes and went for a run in the sunshine. We tried to enjoy an extra day or two with our tree, then put on some flip flops and carried it to the dumpster.

As we tossed it, she told me that I did a really great job picking out our first tree and that maybe she would let me keep that job for next year.