Since August I’ve been planning on a slow December. Our school schedule would be different. Our outside commitments would be few. I had visions of actually doing an Advent calendar this year and keeping up with our Advent books. So many other families seem to make it happen each year. Despite my best intentions the poetic dreams of a slow, full of meaning December seem to only dance in my head. Sunday night I finished the day feeling beat. Obligations outside of my usual stuff has demanded my attention all month. I was grumpy and in an all around bad mood. How is that for the start of Christmas week? I felt like the December I had been dreaming of since August was robbed from me. I was frustrated and really just sad.
I sat there looking at our wonky Christmas tree. Last week our puppy knocked the whole thing down – the day after I filled the extra large water bowl. Chris and I woke up to a semi-flooded living room and all the presents drenched. The kids made the most of it. After we cleaned up the mess, they threw everything back on the tree. It was a messy and colorful and nothing like anything you would see on pinterest. It just seemed to be the perfect tree for us.I went to bed Sunday night thankful that despite all the plans that didn’t happen – I still had Christmas Adam. There are two things we do every year – find our Christmas tree and then sleep under it as a family on Christmas Adam (that is today…Christmas Eve Eve). We started sleeping under the tree when my oldest was a baby. We went through the years of trying to keep toddlers on mattresses and wondering why in the world we chose to do it every year. Somewhere along the way it has changed. Instead of confining crawlers, we are watching full on wrestling matches. Instead of baby tears when the lights go off, we get to have conversations with our growing kids. The best part of traditions, in my opinion, is being able to look back and see how things have changed.
So I went to bed, thankful we would at least have Christmas Adam under our tree.
I woke up.
My oldest found a million little bugs climbing on the tree, the wall, the tree skirt and the curtain. Screams. The ShopVac. Curtains and blankets thrown out onto the lawn. The tree hastily drug out and destroyed.
There would be no Christmas Adam under our tree.I figure with most disappointments in life, I can either cry or laugh. I’m choosing to laugh about our tree. In 13 years of real trees, never have we had a year like this one. I’ll still get a real one next year. This just wasn’t our year. I told the kids I had a back up plan – enter random IKEA purchase from last year – tree on canvas.
They were not at all impressed with my back up plan.The first year Chris and I were married we cut down a TINY tree from a neighbor’s land. It was maybe 2.5 feet tall. It couldn’t hold ornaments or a tree topper. I made a star out of construction paper and glitter. That star has adorned the top of our trees ever since. We won’t sleep under our ‘real’ Christmas tree this year, but we’ll still sleep under its star.
Ultimately, the past few days have just reminded me that Christmas is simply about celebrating the birth of my Savior. It really doesn’t matter if we didn’t light our Advent candles each night. And it is not the end of Christmas if we didn’t read our Advent books. Tonight we will sleep together under our Plan B Christmas tree and our perfectly wonky star.
“Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light“
~ We Three Kings of Orient Are
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year ~ love the Campbells