E and I bought our jólatré (Christmas tree) the other day from a charity sale in a warehouse down by the city airport. Some kinda flying-somethingorother-club. All the employees were smiley and friendly, and Icelanders were pouring in by the carload. The trees were all suspended from the ceiling on ropes in a kind of floating forest. We chose a native-grown Icelandic fir tree and our helpful tree-lady took it off the rope and stuffed it into a big chute, trunk first, so that it could be wrapped in mesh for transport home. We picked up a sturdy welded green tree stand too. A hundred-plus dollars and a short car ride later, we were home. We put up the tree in the big window at the end of the apartment. In a classic American division of labor, I covered the tree with white lights and then E added some beautiful Moravian straw snowflakes that we picked up last week in Brno, plus all kinds of homebuilt childhood classics that her mom had sent her. The tree smells wild and Icelandic, and that thing can drink down water like nobody's bidness. But boy is it a beauty.