Archive for November 27th, 2006

Man, I Give Up

I should probably explain–my people are a bit…rigid with the Christmas tree decorating.  By rigid, I mean there is a proper order for the entire process to the extent that by the time one is eight or nine years old, one can accurately remember on which branch each ornament goes.  Well, maybe just the lower branches that hold the non-breakable ornaments that the kids are allowed to handle, but still.  It’s total killjoy  for a child since by the time the garlands have properly been tucked in, and lights applied–white first, then colors–it becomes apparent that any wrong move may just destroy the perfection of the tree.  What kid needs that kind of pressure?
I was in therapy when the first Christmas rolled around in the new apartment, and my tree stress was bad enough that my therapist ordered me to take the whole thing down.  I swore that year, two Christmases ago, that I wouldn’t let my family’s obsession with the perfect tree interfere with my daughter’s experiences.  Do you know how much effort that takes?  How hard it is to stop myself from explaining that the felt and wood ornaments must be evenly spread throughout the tree?  That we shouldn’t have all of the stars in one place?  That the empty spaces between branches must be filled so that we don’t have to look at the ugly inside of our fake tree?

Well, Internet, I did it.  I don’t know how the damn thing looks, but Lucy and I actually had fun decorating the tree.  I think it’s all worth it, really, being able to look at the joy in her face as we unwrap ornaments we haven’t seen in a year.  Maybe my family’s trees are more perfect, but I doubt they enjoy them as much as we enjoy ours.

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