And no, this post has nothing to do with my impending Vegas trip. I'm a Christmas traditionalist from way back. From when I was very little, my family did the same thing every year. Christmas at Mom's parents (with cousins), and Christmas Eve at my Dad's parents (with me as the only grandchild, and no I wasn't spoiled rotten).
I loved the ham at my grandmother's house. The family. The pile of toys that my cousins' and I would have in front of us. The card games after the meal. It wasn't just that I loved those specific things, it was that I liked the certainty of them. Being together.
When DearWife and I got our first townhouse, we had a two story front room, and we filled both stories with giant trees. DW would spend days putting the ornaments on and rearranging them (over and over and over). The trees were pretty impressive.
We don't really have a good place for a huge tree in the house we're in now. And, with my work & commute taking more time, big trees became more of a hassle than a fun tradition. So we started getting smaller ones (6' instead of 10'). So we made the leap to fake tree yesterday.
Now with two kids, the tree itself doesn't seem so important. In retrospect, it seems like the giant trees from the townhouse were actually filling a void much larger than the two story front room.