Every year, when we first get our Christmas tree out of the box, it’s quite the pathetic mess.
Spindly branches, broken pieces, entire gaps missing from the trunk. …
We did a real tree for years and years, but when the kids got older, and life got busier, we resorted to a fake one, which quickly left a lot to be desired. Plus it wasn’t just ANY fake one — it was a really skinny, scrawny fake one. I don’t even remember where we found it. I think it was just something we could afford at the time, and it fit in the tiny space we have, so we went for it.
Over the years, I’ve repeated my usual mantra: this is the year we’ll get a new tree (or at least a real one with some umph to it).
But every single year I feel bad for spending money on a new tree. And every single year I have my annual stare-down with this old one in the garage. And maybe it’s spite, or stubbornness, or maybe I just see it as a challenge, but I ask Superman to drag the scrawny, skinny one down from the rafters. And I walk around it, and frown at its pathetic Charlie Brown branches, but then I get to work. …
And after some lights, and some wine, and some ribbons, and some magic pixie dust, and some swearing at the lights, and another glass of wine, and some more ornaments, our pathetic Charlie Brown tree gets suddenly transformed into this:
Nathan hangs the ornaments on the bottom. Rene handles the middle. I hang all the lovely Lennox ornaments (that my mom gives me every year — such a joy) at the top. We fill it with all our ornaments of every vacation we’ve ever taken, every child’s first Christmas, every major anniversary Superman and I have had, all our “first Christmas” ornaments (we have a lot of those because we were married at the start of the Christmas season), all the kids’ homemade ones, all the kids’ hobbies and interests, all the ones from friends, and suddenly … the tree is transformed.
Just like life.
You add all the details — the memories, the friends, the kids, your interests, the vacations, your parents, your hobbies, your inside jokes — and you can turn a rather plain life (or a plain set of branches) into one of beauty and magic and love.
Needless to say, every year I end up loving that pathetic Charlie Brown tree.