During Saturday’s Annual Ho Ho Ho Run, Mark described how this year he got a grocery store tree instead of heading into the mountains to cut one down as he usually does. Earlier in the week my friend, Wendy admitted doing the same. And as my friends’ deviate from their Christmas tree traditions, I found myself doing the same.
One factor that came into play this year was my little car. It seems the MommyVan was good for things like dog hauling and tree toting. *sigh* But another consideration was the one that hit hard: it seems that the majority of the Christmas season would NOT be spent at home. And if I’m not going to be home, than is it right to kill a tree just so my home will smell like Christmas when I am?
I decided that an artificial tree made a whole lot of sense and soon we were heading off to find just the right one. That was easier said than done. Have you seen how much these trees cost? I selected a 6′ tree, brought it home, and immediately began assembly. Right away, I didn’t like it. The tree was anorexic looking. Don’t the artificial tree makers know that Christmas trees are supposed to be wider at the bottom.
As we began hanging the ornaments, I became more and more depressed. While our tree trimming experience was slightly different from last year, there remains the same underlying sadness. Our family still feels broken. With DD staying in Southern California for the holidays, I began wondering how I could manage to find joy in the day. More importantly, how would I ever bring enough joy to the day for my boys’ sake?
I took a break from the tree trimming and went upstairs for a hot shower. Almost immediately, I realized how silly it was to keep a tree that I didn’t like. I yelled down to YaYa to remove the ornaments so that we could return the tree and get one that we would like year after year.
Unfortunately, the tree that I wanted was sold out — in all 3 stores that we went to. At one point, I sat in my car in tears. Lil Sis talked me down off the ledge. Focus on the positive, she urged.
Before I’d learned that DD would not be coming home for Christmas, I’d made tentative plans to head south to visit the extended family, and take in Disneyland with Big and Lil Sis. But then things changed. Soon, I was making arrangements for BoBo (coming in from Hawaii) and YaYa to fly down to see DD in the few days before Christmas. I’d be working anyway. The plan was that they’d spend a few days with DD, then fly home for Christmas.
The more I thought about the logistics, it just seemed silly. Why should they fly home, only to endure a 7 hour car ride a mere two days later — which put them in the same place they started at? I didn’t make any sense. But could I impose myself on DD when he already had Christmas plans as well as guests? Fortunately, DD and his lovely girlfriend were thrilled (or so they say) to have us over for the holidays.
As for the tree, I found a full-figured 7′ tree to bring holiday cheer to my home this year and for years to come. YaYa and I made it our own by hanging our many special ornaments on the branches. Now, we can have a little holiday cheer both here and there. And I will do my best to focus on the positive — like being able to arrange our Christmas so that we will all be together.