When you get married, there are certain compromises you have to make. You learn to share the covers. You move all the way across the country and halfway back. One of you has to learn to be a little less anal retentive, while the other has to learn to put things away before they start collecting dust. You learn to appreciate each other’s taste in music. You watch (and make fun of) each other’s favorite movies. You deal with each other’s mood swings, lame jokes, strange obsessions, and flatulence (ahem, Steven!). And while I don’t believe that you should ever have to change yourself or your personality to be with someone, you do have to learn to find some sort of middle ground with your partner if you expect the relationship to last.

Now, I’m not saying Steven and I have the perfect relationship by any means–we’ve had our share of issues and hardships along the way–but I do think we’ve got a pretty damn good thing going here. We enjoy each other’s company. We like to talk and banter and debate important things like religion, philosophy, education, and whether Real Becky ever returned to the cast of Roseanne after Replacement Becky took over, or if Replacement Becky settled into the part and finished the show. We love each other, even in those fleeting moments when we don’t quite like each other. We understand each other in a way no one else ever has and probably ever will. We are each other’s best friends, and I tell ya, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Steven and I have done a lot of compromising in our five years of marriage, and the one bargain we struck that always makes me smile is the Christmas tree. See, growing up, I always had a real Christmas tree. It was always a big deal to pick it out each year. One year, we even went full National Lampoon’s Christmas and went out to cut one down. I remember a few times when I was off at college, Dad threatened to cave in and just get a fake tree. And I promptly told him that I would cancel my trip home for the holidays if he did. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without our tree, decorated with all the old ornaments Mom had been collecting since Lindy and I were babies.

My hubby, on the other had, grew up with an artificial tree. It was put up each year, decorated, taken down again, and stored away. It was routine, and looked the same every year, until it finally began to show it’s age and his Mom decided it was time to buy a new one. Knowing that my husband is such a creature of habit, it’s easy to see why he prefers a fake tree to a real one, and why he argued adamantly that we buy one for ourselves when we started celebrating Christmases together.

It wasn’t until 2009 (two years after we were married) that we got a chance to really celebrate our first Christmas together in our own home, and we were firmly divided on the tree issue. Steven argued that a fake tree just made more sense. We only have to buy it once. We put it up and take it down the same way each year. After only a few years, it pays for itself. On and on. I argued that Christmas just wasn’t Christmas if we didn’t pick out a real tree to decorate, a tree that would make our house smell deliciously festive for the holiday.

Maybe it was the fact that I was 8 months pregnant, and it’s just harder to argue with a pregnant woman, but Steven caved in without much of a fight…on one condition. I get my real tree, but he gets to pick out the tree topper.

Deal. I was sold.

The only thing I still wonder about is whether Steven had already seen the little Yoda tree topper with the light up light saber, or if he just got lucky. Either way, we both win. And even though we’ll probably spend a few moments arguing every year when we try to get a crooked live tree to stand up straight enough to hang lights and ornaments on it without it toppling over, as soon as Master Yoda takes his place of honor at the top, all is forgiven and forgotten and it starts to feel like Christmas in the Romano house once again.

And Miss Cosette is obviously just as in love with our little Yoda as we are. After returning from her nightly visit to see Santa, she fashioned herself a little Jedi robe out of a paper towel, grabbed a pencil, and took a few light saber lessons from Master Yoda himself.

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When Cadence woke, she enlisted the help of Woody and Jessie to help her search for Cosette. It took a few minutes of looking before she finally spotted Cosette in her lofty perch.

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What can we say? The Force is strong in Romano house.

About the Author Lori Romano

I am a writer, photographer, wife, mother, dog owner, half-assed housekeeper and a self-proclaimed coffee and chocolate addict. One day, I will write a book.

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