Ode to the Christmas Tree

I love to have a Christmas tree in our living room. For me having it up on or before Thanksgiving is the start to the Christmas season. Conversely, it must come down the day after Christmas. Odd, I know.

Each year I dream about how wonderful putting up the tree will be, visions of my girls thanking me for the opportunity to put up the tree, us all singing Christmas carols, drinking hot chocolate, etc. basically setting up unrealistic expectations. Growing up I thought that’s how our tree decorating went and I want the same for my girls. But what I remembered (until really going back in my memory) was only the good parts. It was Dad putting on Muppets and John Denver’s Christmas music and us decorating. The most important part was us being together. When I really studied about it it I remembered the funny (now) things that happened, such as my little sister crying under the kitchen table because the head fell off of our 20 year old angel, or my dad waiting until Christmas Eve because that’s when we were all home, I am sure there were times that my Dad just wanted to throw the tree out the door. But he didn’t and he pushed on with the tradition.

Fast forward to my family putting up our tree.

This is the before.

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And here is the after.

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It’s amazing how the pictures do not show the level of frustration which occurred. Hopefully the Littles memories won’t either or maybe I shouldn’t wish that. Real life is happy and frustrating. It’s not the perfect pictures that I post on Facebook that make life matter. It’s the moments of frustration which bind us together. Or as the wise words of Ellen Griswold, “I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”

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