Tuesday, December 6, 2011
A Real, 100% Grown-up Christmas Tree.
Every year, I tell myself "This is it! This is the year. This is the year I will finally have a real, 100% grown-up Christmas tree." I'm sure you've seen them. In fact, you are probably sitting by one right now. A real, 100% grown up Christmas tree is a thing of beauty. To start with, there is generally a theme or at the very least, a color scheme. The ornaments and garland and ribbons and doo-dads and tree skirt all match - or else they work well together. Then there's this thing called balance. You know, where the ornaments are evenly distributed around the tree? No wads of 5 items on one branch with a giant bare spot underneath. No droopy ribbon or tangled beads. Oh and best of all, a real, 100% grownup Christmas tree is something you decorate one time. Once. That's it. And then you are done for the year. There is no need to take most of the things off for the sheer "joy" of putting them all back on at least 3 times a day.
Have you guessed by now that our tree is the complete opposite of all these things? First of all, it's crooked and the star is wobbly. There's no hope for it. It just is. Secondly, I can promise you there is no theme and certainly no matching. Last year, I splurged and bought a box of red "shattterproof" balls and some red ribbon just to bring a semblance of order. The motliness (not sure if that's a word) all started years ago when my husband and I celebreated our first Christmas together. We thought it would be such a romantic idea to pick out a new ornament every year - something that symbolized the year past. All this was well and good until Baby #1 came along. She obviously needed her first ornament, so we started collecting one for her each year as well. A few more calenders later, our family has grown and so has the ornament collection. Each one is dearly treasured, but there certainly is no rhyme or reason to any of it.
There's our snowman one - the first year we had a baby. Seems like just the other day I stood and watched a craft fair vendor personalize this for me, but that baby is about to turn 11 years old. Sigh.
I said earlier that these ornaments are treasured. Believe me, they are. To my kids, one of the best parts of early December is getting reacquainted with their beloved mementos which have been packed away for the past year. Somehow it really doesn't matter what color they are or what their theme is, because they all symbolize a memory to my kids. The kids are in charge of hanging the ornaments on the tree. Some, all in one spot. The next day, or even 10 minutes later, they take them back off to oooh and ahh some more and hang them all again. This time a little different. The ribbon gets tangled or dragged to one side. There are bare spots. But the lights of this motley tree are reflecting in the eyes of very happy children who think this is the most beautiful tree ever. I used to be picky. I'd hang the ornaments all myself. Evenly. The ribbon swooped in exactly the right spots, there were no bare spots. The kids were NOT allowed to touch or even breathe too close to my tree. It was a stressful thing. Somewhere, I decided it wasn't worth it anymore. So what if the tree is motley? My children love it, I'm not stressed and tree makes us all smile. Someday, I'll get that real 100% Christmas tree. Until then, motley will suit me just fine.