Why This Year, I Undecorated The Tree
It has taken me years to perfect the science and artistry of decorating the perfect Christmas tree. Lights first: the aesthetic balance of depth and surface glow. Then shimmery garlands: red and gold tulle and crystalline strands perfectly aligned as they cascade down and around the tree. Last the ornaments: every sparkly red and glittered gold ball on a different latitudinal and longitudinal plane from its peers. It’s obnoxious, right? But beautiful.
But this year, as I sipped my coffee and gazed upon the tree, I distinctly felt that something just wasn’t right. Was the tree crooked? Was there a black hole among my twinkling starry lights? Had the children moved some ornaments? No… it was all perfect. Too perfect.
December is a time for reflecting on the year gone by, and if I have learned anything this year, it is that sometimes things don’t go as planned, that sometimes the sought-after life can actually become really plastic, and that often the best memories are spontaneously organic. And I realized that our family Christmas tree should be a reflection of our family!
So down came all of the glamour and glitz, and instead, we pulled out all of the girls’ handmade ornaments from various projects at church, school and home. Also, we sat around the table together and strung cranberries and popcorn. (and also reviewed Spelling Bee words, as you can see. All three girls are contestants this year!)
Today, as I scan the landscape of days past, I am thankful for every difficult lesson that shattered a little more of the plastic in my life. I am thankful for the unexpected joys that are found in the humblest moments. And as I look at our newly refurbished Christmas tree, I am reminiscing of tiny hands gluing tiny sequins onto a popsical stick tree, and I am thankful for homespun happiness. Merry Christmas!