Megan Again: “O’ Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree”
By Megan Wirts
Saturday was the annual Wirts family Christmas tree finding adventure.
Well, actually, only the second year that we have gotten a real Christmas tree, but annual just the same.
In years past we had an artificial tree that I was never really that fond of. I am a real tree kind of girl. I love the way it makes my house smell and feel like Christmas. My husband on the other hand...
...hasn’t always been a fan of the lovely evergreen trees. His main reason was that he didn’t want to have needles falling off and getting all over the house.
We had a real tree the second year we were married and it had pokey awful needles that fell off by the hundreds daily no matter how much we watered it. It was a nightmare and I reluctantly agreed to no more real trees.
That is, until I really wanted a real tree again. Plus, I had our small people on my side. It was three against one, he didn’t stand a chance.
Last year we did the whole thing where we go to the local Christmas tree farm and cut it down ourselves. My husband, who didn’t even want it, laid down in the cold wet snow and sawed until his arm felt like Jell-O to get us the tree we all loved. He vowed then and there that he would never do it again.
So, when Thanksgiving rolled around, the conversation went like this:
Me: When are we going to get our tree?
Him: We have a perfectly good one in the basement.
Me: Really? Don’t you remember how much you loved that tree last year? It was a good tree, it didn’t shed needles and it smelled so good. One of us will help you cut it down, promise. *eyelash batting and sweet smile*
Him: *suspicious look* Uh huh, sure, you will. *sigh* Well, I did like how it smelled like Christmas every morning I woke up and it didn’t shed needles. It was a pretty tree…Ok fine, we can get a real tree, but I’m not cutting it down.
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed out to the Christmas tree farm to find the perfect tree. Keeping to his word of not cutting it down, we wandered through the pre-cut section of fir trees. We wanted one that wasn’t pokey and with soft needles, because who wants to be stabbed every time you try to hang an ornament up?
We also wanted one that was tall, but not too tall, and full, but not too wide. Maybe we were a little picky, but we knew what we wanted. After much debate and deliberation, we narrowed it down to our two favorites and we let our youngest small person make the final decision.
Now, this is where my love of Hallmark Christmas movies gets in my way. My expectations about decorating my tree are always way too high because of those cheeseball fairytales and it can make me a little bit crazy. I have been known to say things like, “Merry FREAKING Christmas to you too, I guess I’ll just do this ALL BY MYSELF AGAIN!”
Not this year though. This year would be different, because I made a conscious decision to not let myself get stressed out.
Usually what happens is we get home and the small people are all pumped up and excited to go through the box of ornaments and put them on the tree. One of them will put their favorite in the same spot that the other one wanted to put theirs and a fight will break out. The husband will mysteriously disappear and I will be left to do it all myself. I will then have a mini breakdown where I yell the aforementioned, “Merry Freaking Christmas” tirade. Which will then lead to everyone sitting quietly on the couch helping me sort through the ornaments and untangle the lights because they realized that mommy is about to lose her ‘shut the front door’ mind.
It’s really not that fun.
This year, I just let it be. I let the kids fight over who got to put the first ornament on and I didn’t care. Eventually they stopped and I didn’t yell once. I didn’t even care that our dog was chasing our cat and they nearly knocked the tree over and broke one of my ornaments. I didn’t even follow the kids around and rearrange the ornaments so that there weren’t too many red ones bunched up in one spot. I just let it happen.
My husband turned on Christmas music and we sang along and let the chaos unfold around us while we untangled the lights together. When it came time to put the star on top, I didn’t even care that the kids were fighting over who got to do it this year. We just ignored them and my husband climbed on a stool and put it up himself and it looked perfect. When they stopped arguing and realized it was already done, they both looked at us like we were the worst parents in the world…..then said it looked beautiful and the fighting ended.
Letting go made it the best day.
Now when I sit here with just the lights of the tree on and a cup of coffee in my hand and I breathe in that evergreen smell, it makes me feel so warm and happy.
I love our Christmas tree. I love the time we spent together picking it out and decorating it, because despite the fighting and the chaos?
It was totally worth it.
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