Monday, December 13, 2010
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Loaded Are Thy Branches
I love this season of the year! Starting with Thanksgiving through New Years Day I am in my element! From baking to decorating, Christmas carols to festive gatherings, coffee in holiday mugs to poinsettias, I become one of Santa's helpers to make certain I am spreading Christmas cheer! Although I do my share to boost the economy, shopping isn't the crux for me. I especially like the worst kind of shopping Susie Orman preaches to avoid, last minute emotional spending. If I recall her theory correctly, all purchases should be made by the end of the first week of December but I consider it my patriotic duty to extend the deadline a bit! I am referring to the purchases made with the thought, just one more for Jeff and the kids, or I think I will buy a gift for all fifteen great nieces/nephews, or the ever so popular that looks just like so and so, I can't pass it up! A commmon trap for me and I'm sure others as well. This year a new approach had to be considered so thanks to my daughters our house is glowing with holiday decor in all the typical places. For years I was a greenery snob and made my own fresh garland from clippings on the ground at the tree lot. But as the season's activities increased with four kids, nine.years of participating in the Nutcracker with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and eventually adding work to my schedule I was forced to give in and purchase garlands with no fragrance but easier cleanup. But the tree is another thing. We still support Frazier tree growers by finding the tallest, most perfectly shaped tree on the lot! We have tree shopped in all kinds of weather and have been unaffected by the hassle of getting the tree in the house, in the stand, and in the position showing best side. I purposely have a few ornaments that are the right size to hide the holes that never seem to show up in the selection process! The best tree adventure to date began with a family trip to the tree lot followed by breakfast at McDonald's and ending the day by trimming the tree with holiday music blaring. The third part of our Norman Rockwell day didn't go as planned. As Jeff and the kids began the process to get the tree ready for ornaments I received a phone call from Rebekah. She informed me that the tree didn't have a good side and daddy was mad! I immediately shifted to mom mode by saying all the appropriate statements to turn a bad situation around. At that time I worked at a specialty fabric store part time, trading my hours for fabric and lace instead of a paycheck. I thought I had devised the perfect plan so that I could participate in my favorite part of the tree experience, taking the kids to choose a tree and hanging the ornaments in just the right place. Skipping the whole getting it in the stand and in the house routine was my least favored part. It's the moaning and groaning from Jeff toward an innocent evergreen that I like to avoid! When I got home I was certain I could redeem all the critical remarks made toward our tree selection. Wrong! They were right, it was a horrible tree with no good side! I tried my best but to no avail! So on a cold, windy Saturday evening that tree was strapped back on the car and taken back to the tree lot to be exchanged for a more attractive one! Last Sunday evening as I watched the kids decorate the tree I had to chuckle inside as I reflected on the collection of memories encompassing this holiday beginning with my childhood to the present. I treasure their comments about certain ornaments or memories they have from Christmases past. I also had to heed my own suggestion from Puzzle Pieces of Parenting, Part Three, number fifty-five; allow some ornaments to stay where your children have placed them. It continues to be a challenge for me but somehow this time didn't seem to matter. Maybe I am finally growing up!