here's a secret about mark: before i moved in, he kept his artificial 5-foot christmas tree up almost year round. he put it up in july last year because he says the place is just happier with a lit tree in it. while i can find no flaw in that logic, i had to actually say no to the man this year when he suggested in august, then september, and again in october, that we pull the ol' tree out of storage. here's a secret about me: i look for vintage christmas stuff year round while thrifting! as much as i tease him about the tree, we're both guilty of holiday lovin'. i happily caved on the tree the weekend before thanksgiving, and we set aside a sunday afternoon for our second date of christmas, to just stay in and decorate. for the first time together! mark tinsel'd that tree like a champ, i hung our new wool stockings and made a martha mess of our chalkboard wall, and we had the nicest couple of hours making our home a little merrier. i think he and i will always be tree-before-thanksgiving folk.