Dec 8, 2010

Christmas Tree Struggle = A Change of Heart

This season's Christmas tree search wasn't as romantically festive as year's past. Generally we would bundle up in coats and scarves, drive to the local Christmas tree farm....get out with smiles on our faces and thoughts of hot cocoa by the fire later...twinkling lights and shiny new ornaments. For 3 years in a row we have scouted out the *perfect* little tree...and then our particular farm allows you to chop it down..they then shake it and tie it to the top of your car....and you go home with thoughts on all things magical.
This year we drove up to the Kroger parking lot...Zac let me hop out to go in and grab some yogurt and canned goods in peace...then he and the kids went to choose one of the trees in the front of the store. I got back and zac was already tying it to the top of the van. I just said "well, at least the tree of choice will be a total surprise to me this year." It really was hectic...Brady was having a mini meltdown and Tristan was ready for lunch - so we just basically took care of business.
TWO DAYS LATER....we began decorating it...in the middle of the day...NO CANDLES LIT...NO CHRISTMAS MUSIC PLAYING....just *began.* It really did feel like one of those times that we needed to just get through....to give the kids their memory but with no expectations or preconceived notions about how the whole ordeal should go down. End Result : A beautiful tree, happy kids, and just as many cute pictures as years past. Kroger or the Christmas tree farm...they really didn't care as long as there was a box of candy canes to spread out over the tree's bare branches.
Internal Result : a sense of accomplisment and new thoughts about how to handle next year's festivities in a more orderly festive fashion. A tinge of sadness as not having my normal tradition...

It's always fun unpacking ornaments and remembering when each was made or bought....from who they were from or for...love that part so much. Every year we try to get each kid an ornament of their very own and I write their name and date on it somewhere...this way when they move away from home and are ready to have a tree of their very own....they'll have a small box of "beginnings" from their past.

Every time I see a picture of Brady lately my heart starts to throb and hurt just a little bit...also swell with pride and joy and love. I can't believe how very tall and old he is looking - he'll be five this month folks....I WILL BE THE MOTHER OF A FIVE YEAR OLD. So strange.



Trin was promised the privilege of putting the star on the top of the tree this year....one of the things we used to console her for her 2 day *decorating wait.* She was elated. :)





Brady saw how much fun Trin had flying through the air in daddy's arms so he quickly asked me if he could have the honor next year. :) Funny what simple things make kids happy.





Daddy and the star topper...in all her goofy squirrelishness.







The tree could definitely use more lights but we bought the LED ones this year and thought one box would do it...you live and learn. I must admit that the *hanging of the green* this year came with a lot of pressure instead of it's normal simple sweetness...mostly pressure that I put on myself. I think I just viewed the whole thing as a chore for some reason...instead of a joy.
However....every night that I sit in our living room and look around at the hung stockings(Zac already has mine bulging...he's so thoughtful) and the collection of ornaments on the tree and all of the candy canes the kids are DYING to sample...I'm filled with happiness and contentment. I wish I could have been at the place in my heart on the day we picked out our tree...kind of like most things these days. I guess the most important thing learned though is that 'i got there.' I think that's what I'm learning MOST right now day to day...just finally getting to that place in my heart - the end result is what is important...sometimes it just takes time. :)





4 comments:

Melody said...

What a beautiful tree it is! Loved the pics of the kids decorating it, too. I can hardly wait to see it in person!

We started with ours last night. We got a BEAUTIFUL artificail tree; it's the most gorgeous thing! Dad put it together last night and I think he'll put the lights on tonight. Then tomorrow the FL Corley grandkids will come over and help us decorate it. I'm trying to put a little party together for them. I hope it all turns out nice. I'm not recovering from this surgery as quickly as I expected. :-(

Any way, thanks SO much for sharing your family with us on this blog. We just LOVE it!!

Mama C

The Toplovs said...

Our whole life is a process of learning. As I'm sure you know, it's really not about the perfect tree, decorations, or lights....but the joy is when you see your kids pleasure for simple things.

Madeline said...

I'm just glad to read that you got to that place. The when isn't so important. :)

atthebeginning said...

Hi Alyssa! Your home is so beautiful in so many ways! I just wanted to share a blog post with you that fits so well with what you are dealing with, with your sweet little chil'ens:
http://www.feminagirls.com/2010/12/07/contending-alone/
It really is an encouragement written by a mother of five young blessings. Hope you enjoy it!
~Julie :)

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