My friend Arleen always has a perfect Christmas tree. The ornaments are always within an elegant colour-scheme and perfectly distributed. I look at her tree and I drool. One day, when I grow up, my Christmas tree will look like Arleen’s. There is no reason her tree should be perfect. She has 3 kids and two dogs and is constantly on the go, but her tree and home are always, always perfect.
My tree is seriously imperfect, but decorating it brings my daughters joy. They don’t know my aversion to clumps of ornaments lumped together on a single branch. They have no idea how badly I want to place my 12 Days of Christmas ornaments in order, spiraling around the tree. They are unaware of the thoughts of seizures that run through my mind at the sight of blinking tree lights; I’d prefer a constant glow. They share with me my disappointment at having to pack away our breakable ornaments for fear of Scout the Destructokitty. (Seriously, his new bird-on-a-string toy lasted 15 minutes before he ripped the string off its stick. Our other cats can play with the same toy for months without breaking it.)
Watching, and even more hearing, my girls decorate the tree makes every imperfection tell a story and bring me happiness.
Why are all the dark blue ornaments up high, where only mommy can reach? Because they’re the night sky, mommy.
Why are do you want blinking lights in only the top half of the tree? Because it’s a snowstorm, mommy, and that’s the lightning. The solid lights beneath are the lights of the city.
Why are the snowflakes all in the front of the tree? Because it’s snowing on the town, mommy. It’s a winter snowstorm miracle!
Why are all the elves hanging on one of two branches at the bottom of the tree? Because they’re having a winter snowstorm miracle party, mommy.
Why is there only one red ornament on the tree this year? Because it’s Rudolph’s nose, mommy. He’s driving Santa (our tree topper).
*I forgot to take a photo. Oops. Enjoy my clipart!
My kids remind me that I’m a story-teller, not a homemaker, and that’s okay. If I want my kids to see what a beautiful home looks like, I can visit Arleen. If she wants to her kids to get sugar and flour all over them, she can send them to my house.
How does your tree look when you have kids at home?
Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.