Growing up in Kuwait, we never had Christmas trees, but one year, my mother found a fake one about two feet tall and, although we had nothing to decorate it with, we improvised and posed “underneath” it for pictures. When we moved to the States, my mother began buying fresh trees every December and decking them out. Her mother was a Greek Alexandrian and so my mother had grown up celebrating Christmas. Sometimes I imagine how lonely my grandmother must have gotten in the Fifties and Sixties after her friends and family moved away to all corners of the globe, since Nasser’s Egypt had no room for “foreigners.” I imagine she was lonely. So, once every few years, I get inspired to pick up a fresh Christmas tree– here in Central California I assume these trees come from the Sierras. We light candles, bust out the Latin edition of Dr. Seuss’s Grinch, listen to the It’s a Charlie Brown Xmas album, and decorate the tree with Dollar Store ornaments, since I don’t want to buy too much into the Capitalist Xmas Frenzy. It’s festive and pagan and helps me honor my kid self, who always loved the idea of a Xmas tree, and my Yia Yia, who I never met, but whom I’m told was a badass. Happy holidays, everyone.