Twenty-six years ago today, Tim Taylor proposed at the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.
I remember it was a very cold night, but Tim insisted on driving to the White House to see the tree. I bundled up in a warm but desperately unglamorous sweater. A choir stoically performed the “Hallelujah Chorus” to a crowd of three—me, Tim, and a homeless gentleman. Afterward, as we walked along the Ellipse, admiring the trees, Tim took me completely by surprise by dropping down on one knee and asking, “Will you be my wife?”
This happened before cell phones and social media, so we don’t have a record of the event. But one year, Grandma Charlotte, my mom, and aunts and I went on the Holiday Homes Tour in Hudson, Minnesota, and saw this beautiful painting of the National Christmas Tree by G. Harvey. My mom tracked one down and gave the framed print to us for Christmas. We keep it up year-round as a reminder of that magical night.
In October, Tim and I celebrated twenty-five years of marriage and his love and support has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. At Christmas, especially, he’s humored me, gamely helping when I go a bit (just a bit!) over the top with cookie exchanges, outings, and decorating. He’s created traditions of his own, like making his mocha-almond biscotti and reading Christmas stories aloud to us every night during Advent. He understands that what it’s really about is love.