Our Ever Evolving Christmas Story

Our Ever Evolving Christmas Story

It was four days before Christmas and we still didn’t have a tree.  It was almost to the point of forgetting the whole thing, but, “The Children! The Children!”  Keep in mind though that the children celebrating that year in our house were all under the age of two and didn’t have a clue that under that tree we still didn’t have was supposed to be gobs of presents delivered from a fictitious fat man they didn’t yet really comprehend.

I had other pressing things on my mind aside from decorating for Christmas that year, such as clearing out the basement to make room for my brother and his family.  The tree was an afterthought; however it still seemed incredibly important to have one.  A REAL one.  The smell of pine wafting in my nostrils was all part of my Christmas story growing up.  How could I not have that for my own children?!  Especially for my second child’s first Christmas!  The kid was already living a life of hand-me-downs, he deserved a real tree!

My mom ran into Home Depot late that night and came out with the following report: there were still trees, BUT, there were also some fake options.  She hesitated to even mention the latter part to me, anticipating an unfavorable response.  With Christmas right around the corner, my abhorrence at the thought of a fake tree was quickly fading.  All the effort of putting up a real tree, probably with dried up needles, to enjoy for about a week was sounding more and more ridiculous.  So, the next morning, three days now before Christmas, my husband and I went to Home Depot and spotted a floor model that wasn’t over the top with fake snow and had all the lights on it.

Yes, we’ll take it!  What’s that you say, that is the last one?! Hot diggity, our lucky day!  No box left for it, so after a 40% discount, we wheeled that sucker out in three delightfully manageable pieces.  We put it up in about a minute.  No need to move furniture to make room for it either, another obvious score.  Then, we all noticed that it leaned a little.  Huh, didn’t notice that when it was up a few feet on display.  That’s when my mom pointed out that it leaned a bit just like how we used to always get the “Charlie Brown Tree” growing up.  It had a patch missing somewhere, or bulged somewhere, or was slightly crooked, or one year the trunk was so huge it had to be supported by a cement cinder block (when cut in the forest, it is not always apparent how truly big they are…).

And, that’s when it hit me.  It wasn’t the tradition of the evergreen smell that I wanted to continue.  It was the “Hey, let’s just roll with whatever Christmas brings our way” attitude that I valued so much.  My parents never got stuck thinking there was a particular tradition that they HAD to do every year.  If it happened, it happened.  If it didn’t, well, there was always next year.

I’ve decided I’m going to put up that tree for the next couple of years while my household is still a bit chaotic, and the branches are forgiving to curious little hands.  And, it’s certainly going up those years we go away, but still want some Christmas cheer until we leave.  I’ll also be getting a wreath again from Costco that I slapped a pretty bow on and hung up at the top of the stairs right after Thanksgiving.  I had my evergreen smell all along.  But, I had been too preoccupied thinking the smell had to be bigger and better to simply enjoy it.


This year’s seriously affordable and beautiful Costco wreath- all I did again was add a bow.  I really am savoring the smell every time I pass by it.

And, I did follow through on the decision to put up our fake tree again.  It still leans, some of the lights have already burned out, and our kids have displaced most of the bottom dwelling ornaments.  All of which have made it even more lovable.


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