Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Change of Heart

We put up our Christmas tree on Sunday.  Not only is this the earliest I've ever gotten the tree up, it's the ONLY time I've ever gotten the tree up.  I never saw the point to putting a lot of effort into something that is not functional or productive in any way.  In the past I thought we should just get like a Christmas ficus or something that we could conceivably enjoy the rest of the year if we didn't rip all the leaves off trying to take down the lights.  We didn't even do that. A ficus is more expensive than you might think, plus our house was to small even for a nice potted plant, and Christmas with the kids was always spent at the grandparent's house so there was really no need to decorate anyway.
This year we have a new house with central heat, a second bathroom, and an actual hallway. We have a one-year-old who has never had a Christmas tree and an 11- and 13-year-old who have their own rooms to sleep in on Christmas Eve.  So despite my distaste for pointless work, such as putting up and taking down a whole tree in one month, we got one, as in received one from my mother-in-law. It's one of those really nice six-foot tall pre-lit things with the wire branches.  The lights are red, yellow, blue, and green.  I got some of those cheap plastic ornaments in red and a nice sparkly red star for the top.  
The kids came out and helped put the tree up.  Helped like Hayden plugged in the lights, Holly fluffed up some of the crushed wire branches and then they played with Story in the box the tree came in. I think that was better than actual help because keeping him busy is the best help I could ask for.  I moved the tree from one side of the room to another trying to get it into a place that would allow someone driving by to see it from the window while also allowing the TV to still have cable that we could watch in front of the tree so that people could also admire our happy family as they drive by.  Once I maneuvered the tree into a practical and attractive place I had to get the tree, which looked like a wet cat with all the branches mashed down, fluffed up and decorated.
I thought, mistakenly, that ornaments came with hooks.  I didn't realize that ornament hooks were actually a product, I thought they were just like the straws that come with juice boxes.  I guess the juice box people thought "well, you can't drink the juice without the straw, heck, let's just throw the straws in for free!"  Not the Christmas ornament people.  They'll take you for everything you've got.  Christmas is so commercialized.
At about 7:30 pm I had to drive out to Dollar General, the only place open in Dover after 7:00 pm and get hooks.  I guess when they package them they just gather them up off the floor and cram them into a box because once I got a few separated the hooks were more like just thin wire strings that I had to bend back into hook shape.  I managed to get the ornaments hung and they look really nice.  I'm really proud of my tree.  Thank goodness for plastic ornaments too because Story just learned the word "ball."  He removes every ornament he can reach, says "ball!," throws it, picks it up and places it in his Tonka truck to push around all night.
Like I said I'm not much for form without function, but now that I've got the tree up I really like it.  I like that Story likes it, I like that the kids had fun with it, or the box anyway, and I like that when I wake up before the sun comes up I can sit in here in its rainbow light and do my Bible reading (Proverbs, finally!).  I might start doing all kinds of pointless things now, things that only have cosmetic value like taking my car to the car wash or painting my fingernails.  I might even leave the tree up all year round I enjoy it so much.  

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