It's the little things that put you in the holiday spirit. Don't get me wrong, I like the big things, like presents or turkey or family or whatever, but it's really the little things that do it. Things like watching the Grinch (already done once and likely at least another time before Christmas - it's a good wrapping movie), or listening to a particularly good Christmas CD, or eating a Christmas only cookie.
One of the big little things for me, though, has always been our tree guy. I don't even know his name - it was only last year that I discovered it wasn't Ed, even though he worked at Ed's Trees. But every year for the last fifteen, probably, we've bought our tree from the same guy. He remembered us every year (probably because we buy a really good tree so he makes lots of money off us), and he was very excited two years ago when I was getting a tree for my first apartment. He even gave us a deal on it. (It was a pretty puny little tree, although I was VERY fond of it.) He always gave me a chocolate when we paid, and there was something very satisfying about the continuity. I am in charge of picking the tree - it's only Dad and I that get to go, although Jamie has been allowed to accompany for the last two years since Dad has been sick and needs the help in tree-hauling. I sing Christmas carols loudly in the car to Dad's protests, even though he secretly likes it. We don't tell mum how much the tree costs, and everyone's happy.
But this year, there was a different tree guy. We got a perfectly nice tree - two of them, in fact, one for my parents' house and one for us, but it just wasn't the same without the tree guy. I don't know where he is, and I can't ask because I don't know his name. But it's sad, knowing that we have a tree that was sold to us by someone who wouldn't know us if he saw us on the street.
Maybe he retired from the tree business, or moved away, or just wasn't there today. I don't know. But I missed my tree guy.