My best memory that I have as a child is the Christmas tree. My dad would pile us into the station wagon or van and we’d head down to a store or street corner in Chicago that had trees piled against a wall or in a stand for us to choose the perfect tree. My dad was meticulous with getting a tree. Making sure there weren’t any bare spots or that the tree wasn’t already too dry. It’s like a scene from
A Christmas Story.
Decorating the tree was the best part. Now that I have children of my own, I understand the patience that is needed with children decorating the tree. And a glass of wine goes a long way to increase that patience:) I remember my mom putting on the lights and us waiting patiently for our turn to put on the ornaments. I’m sure my mom moved around a lot of our ornaments and quite a few hit the floor, but every year we did this and every year it became more important to me. I recall one year coming home from school and it was all done. The lights were up, ornaments on and tree skirt laid down. There was nothing for my sisters and I to do. They didn’t mind as much, but I was devastated. I couldn’t believe my mom decorated the tree without us; without me! I still remind her of this and we laugh since now I understand the temptation of just doing it on your own. There’s no crash from broken glass ornaments and no whining coming from little mouths. There is peace.
But, she missed the squeals from putting on an ornament successfully. Or oh’s and ah’s from seeing the lights on for the first time. Or smiles on their faces from pride for only breaking 2 ornaments this year. These are the memories I love having with my kids. Yes, there are broken ornaments and it takes 3 times as long to finish the tree. There’s whining when I put up the lights because I should be going faster, according to them. But, I just need to think back to how I felt when my mom decorated the tree without me and I realize it’s all worth it. The extra frustration is worth their memories. Because they won’t remember my frustration, they will remember the magic of putting up the tree. To them, the tree will always look beautiful even if it has the majority of the ornaments clumped in one section.
This year we also got a mini tree that we planned on putting in the kids room. But, we decided to leave it downstairs since Asher already has a hard time getting to bed. We figured the tree would be an extra distraction that he didn’t need. Madelyn decorated this one all on her own.