“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
― Bob Hope
"It's not even Thanksgiving yet, Mom". I heard this all night since I started putting up one of our trees. I have always wanted a massive Christmas tree. There are only a few material things that I have always wanted in my life and a massive tree is one of those things. I like to concentrate more on the intangibles when I create my ‘want’ lists, like love that is pure and strong; kindness that is felt with your heart; a healthy family; good friends that have your back; and laughter that makes your belly hurt. That’s my REAL want list. But ya, I also have that list of wants that can be bought, too. And a 12 foot tree at my entrance of my home was one of them. Check that off! I also have always wanted a huge fountain in front of my home, a front door adorned with topiaries, and a miniature horse if you are thinking of what to get me for Christmas. Oh well, I guess I still have time. So I brewed a pot of coffee and sat under the new addition to my home. There is something about a bright Christmas tree when the rest of the house is dark that makes you feel nostalgic. In the glow of my tree it made me think that maybe it isn’t the tree that I really wanted. I think what I really want is every person that walks into our home to feel the love that comes at this time of the year. I want that tree to blast them with the need for family and gathering. I want them to feel the warmth of this home that is filled with the most important people in my life. I want the kids to walk downstairs in the morning or when they are up late at night and know that this mom of theirs is creating an environment for them to feel peaceful and loved. This is the last year that the boys will be home until they go to college. They will be seeing next year’s tree on their visit home for Christmas on their college break. They won’t be able to enjoy it in the weeks before Christmas any more after THIS Christmas. So I put that damn tree up extra early this year so that they can get it engraved in their minds about what it feels like when that tree is lit. (I also have a Europe trip planned and won’t be home for the December 1 house decorating that we always do, but that’s a different blog post). Anyways, the house is that much more cozier and loving at this time of the year. C. Joybbell C. said that, “Hopefully, our soft moments in life will largely outweigh, outrank, and outrun our dark moments”. This is one of those ‘soft' moments, when the house is filled with the Christmas spirit. Last year I didn’t really want to ‘DO’ Christmas. I kept most of our decorations in storage. I unenthusiastically put up our tree and threw on some decorations and BAM that was Christmas. There wasn’t any particular event that made me less Cristmas-y. I just didn’t feel it. Slightly Scroogesque. How sad I think. I have decided that as long as I have these miniature adults in my home I am going to overdo every single special moment that we share together so that when it is time for them to have their own families, they will remember how it was in this home. They will create their own memories from the reflectance of our time together. Hannah sent me a video of her apartment and their tree. There was a candle lit by their tv; a tree by their window; a wreath on their front door; Christmas decorations throughout their apartment; and pillows to match. And in the one-minute video that she sent to me I could see the smiles on their faces. I could hear the laughter. One of the roommates was dancing amidst the glow of their tree. They got it…..the feelings that come with the light of a Christmas tree. I’m sure some people in some houses put up the biggest tree to outshine their neighbors or fill up their spaces. Not in THIS house. I went big to make a statement to all who enter and all who live here that THIS year we are enjoying every single moment we have together. The message will be loud and clear: In this family we do love; we do togetherness; we do it our way! .”The rest of the year, I wondered if the point of Christmas was just spending money and getting fat and opening gifts. Indulging. But when Christmas finally comes, and that warm, tingly, mints-and-sweaters-and-fireplace-fires feeling gathers in the bottom of your stomach, and you're lying on the floor with all the lights off but the ones on the Christmas tree, and listening to the silence, you see the point. For that one instance in time, everything is good in the world. It doesn't matter if everything isn't actually good. It's the one time of the year when pretending is enough.”
p.s. Be prepared for the next blog entry title, “Get this damn tree out of my house”.