we finally put up the tree today. i say finally because it should have been done
thanksgiving. but eeveryone has been sick since thanksgiving and this was the
earliest anyone felt up to it. and it almost caused a fight. but i think every
household has to have at least one holiday stress induced fight. we could have
avoided it if we had gone with our first instincts and not put up the tree this
year, or if we had been wise and inspected the lights last night to see which
were working. but the kids wanted the tree, even though there will be no gifts
under it, and we still weren't up to even thinking about putting up the tree last
night, much less inspecting the lights to see what needs fixing or replacing.
the easy part for us is the tree itself. it's fake. 100% fake. so we just unpack,
put together and go. no cutting, hauling, paying $35-$50 per year, lifting, driving,
hauling some more, cutting own, watering, fighting to get it to stand straight,
cleaning up spilled water, turning to find the best side, keeping it watered,
cleaning up dry needles, or hauling it again when the holiday is over. nope, open
the box, put it together, any side will do, no water, end of year take it apart
and box it again. and i think our tree has come down to about $15/year now. next
year it will be even less. besides, with kids and, at one time, a cat, a real
tree would have been more of a mess and a danger than i really wanted to deal
with. so, fake tree. talk about being forever green.
and tonight, we got it out of the box, he set it up and put lights on it (that's
where we nearly had the argument . . all the lights were on top, i tried to let
it go, he fixed it anyway). then came the fun. calling the kids down to decorate
it. this year we had more ornaments for it as we no longer have the burglar bars
in the front window to decorate. and i decided to parcel out the ornaments into
piles before the kids got started so everyone had the same number of ornaments
to put up. no arguments or pushing and whining there this year. worked wonderfully.
and kitten was more than willing to help taz put his stuff up (he tends to pull
the bows out of the ribbons). have you ever seen a child decorated tree? ours
has all the ornaments in clumps, with space between each clump. very pretty, but
makes you wonder where the rest of the ornaments are.
for us tree decorating goes in two stages: the kids stuff which is to say the
non-breakables, and the non-kids stuff or the glass. they put theirs up first,
then saxy and i get in there with the glass stuff. now, this doesn't help the
clumping as mach as you would think as we don't place the glass down low. so, in
addition to clumpy, it is a bit "top heavy" all the glass is in the
upper half of the tree.
but it is a very beautiful tree. all the more so because they wanted it, even without
gifts, they wanted it because of what it represents to this family for the holiday.
the symbolism behind the evergreen for us (everlasting life), the red and white
ribbons (his blood spilled and his purity) we use to hang the ornaments, and
the symbolism of the ornaments we place upon it. we don't just go and buy any
ol' ornament. our tree has a theme, even if it doesn't appear to: it is a family
christ-mas tree. and everything on it represents someone n the family or has to
do with christ and our faith in him. this celebration of our faith in christ is
what this season is all about for us. and i am so overjoyed that the children
KNOW that. last year i had the pride and joy of hearing my oldest explain what
everything on the tree means to her grandparents on saxy's side. this foundation
in faith is one thing i have helped my children build. it is the ONE thing i have
done good by them in. and the return, having them want the tree despite the lack
of presents, being able to explain what everything on the tree means, to find
joy in this season without the gifts, is more awesome to me than i can even relate
i am very proud of my kids. and i have never seen a more beautiful thing than
our lumpy, top-heavy christmas tree.