Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers
True confessions. I’ve been a little grumpy this holiday season. The kids’ bickering, the to do list… it had me in a little funk. Then I watched a beautiful sappy video on facebook about how now, as the parent, I am in charge of the Christmas Magic. So, I took a deep breath and took a step out of my funk.
That’s when the Christmas tree was declared officially dead. It wasn’t sucking up the water… despite our best efforts and constant vigilance!
Fortunately, the tree place agreed to exchange it.
Unfortunately, the tree had to be undecorated. Including the lights.
Before this, we had lived with a dying tree, we had hoped, and crossed our fingers.
Before this we had decorated it with lights and special ornaments.
Before this, kids were crying as I smiled and told them it was okay.
Before this an entire box of ornaments crashed to the ground, breaking one of my most cherished ornaments from my childhood that survived moves and toddlers and the puppy trying to eat the tree when he was just a baby.
The kids agreed to undecorate the tree, while I went to pick a new one.
“Pick a good one!” they called after me as I drove away.
I’d already been to the tree place twice this season for this Christmas Tree…
The first time was the day we had promised we’d go and get the tree. The 12 year old kept having premonitions of things going wrong.
The van wouldn’t start, even with jumper cables. We should have known then.
The tree place was closed when we finally go there. We should have known then.
It was pouring rain the next day. We should have known then.
We made a quick tree decision and had an 8 year-old crying, “That’s not the tree! You didn’t even ask me!” We definitely should have known then.
Fortunately the tree place still had 2 concolor firs to choose from.
Unfortunately another family arrived minutes after me and chose one of them while I was deciding.
Fortunately, the one left was beautiful.
When I got home with the new tree, the old tree’s needles were all over the living room. So of course, the 12 year old had a little fun.
And then we stuffed the tree out the window, so I could return it.
I was able to easily lift it into my van. Because it was so light. And dead.
That’s me, smiling so I don’t cry. And also laughing because as stressful as the holidays can sometimes be… as mean as my kids might say I sometimes am… I never felt so much like the Grinch until I stuffed my Christmas tree out my window and into my van.
Back home, after my fourth trip this season to the tree place, I took a deep breath. I reminded myself (again) that I am the magic of Christmas… and then I forced everyone to help me put the lights on (again) and the ornaments on (again) and the candy canes on (again).
A wise friend on facebook commented that I had been lucky enough to get the joy of decorating two trees. She’s right, of course. That’s the whole point … try to #findthejoy. Be the magic!
I looked over at Mr. Thought and said, “You know? This new tree is even better than the first one!”
“Well…” he said, “That one was dead.”
… The next morning he texted me from downstairs, “This new tree really sucks.”