Confession: we are part of the unspirited masses who buy an artificial tree and use it for years and years. Partially out of practicality and partially because for many years we have had a young child with asthma or allergy issues that made a live tree risky.
But those days appear to be over (or lessening enough to try a live one).
In years past, we have used ribbon and cheap Target balls to decorate the tree. If you read this on a regular basis, you have probably already guessed there are 2 reasons for this--Sascha and Bo. They are curious and stubborn and putting up ornaments that matter and might get broken seemed unfair to all of us. I have always loved how the tree looked and the ease of not getting upset when I heard a crash and "uh-oh". This year, I decided to try a more fun and festive version (and also one that didn't involved glass since Sascha broke 2 of the surviving balls from last year before I even got all of the boxes out of the storage room). I bought beaded garland and glittery ornaments and we set to decorating the tree the Sunday we got back from Polar Express (after Josh added working lights to the prelit tree since the prelit ones won't light).
It was a disaster.
The whole thing was all wrong. Kids were crying; Josh was irritated with the crying kids and may have threatened to do it without one of two of them. That made me sad so the whole merriment and magic was sort of gone.
And . . . well, the picture in my head and the actual tree were, um, vastly different. It. Was. Tacky.
So the next day, I took off the beads and put up last year's ribbon.
I had lost my Christmas mojo. This year I have struggled to get things decorated just so and it has thrown off my Christmas spirit.
So, last week I sent Josh back down to the depths of the house and asked him to bring back the big red box. I opened it up and sights and smells from my childhood overwhelmed me. I took off the ribbon and the glittery ornaments and Target balls and redecorated it by myself as I listened to the classic Christmas music on cable. It was wonderful. I carefully selected sturdy and (probably) unbreakable ornaments from Granny's stash; there were some tears and some nostalgic smiles, but mostly, somehow, it lifted my spirits. Like magic, I felt warmth and happiness and the feelings of the season I normally experience. The tree is finally beautiful and meaningful and just right.
Oh. And christened by Tate.
12 hours ago