Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blue Christmas

For the second time in 26 years, I bought a pre-cut tree from a lot.
The first time was one of those early Christmases when I was on my own... and the backlash from doing so was heartbreaking. The sobbing. The crying. The temper tantrums... "But it's TRADITION! We HAVE to cut down our own! This isn't right. It doesn't feel like Christmas. I want things the way they used to be..." And then we'd have a long talk about divorce and daddy still loving them, and how we'll be fine making new traditions, and see isn't this fun - let's have some friends over to help us decorate, and then let's have friends over to help us undecorate... and so on.

From that point on, I made sure the four of us went to a tree farm every December to use weapons (erhm, tools) to kill our meticulously chosen tree. They'd hunt for at least an hour for the perfect one, and I'd take pictures. It was a lovely tradition.

But all of a sudden, just like, that, *snaps fingers* they don't care anymore. The older two don't live here, and Drew did the tree farm thing with his step mom already this year, so "it doesn't matter, mom."

And this year, I'm the one who's crying, "this just doesn't feel right. It's tradition. We always do it... I want things to be the way they used to."
Max and Drew helped me get it into my truck and then into the family room. (Which is also a break from tradition - we've always set it up at the front of the house. In for a penny, in for a pound. Let's really shake things us this year.)
Once it was standing upright, they ate all my Eggo waffles, borrowed some money and left.
So, I decorated it by myself, listening to the Glee soundtracks.
Not a single one of my 3 multi-coloured-100 bulb strands of lights worked this year, so I ended up covering the tree with blue lights only.
Kinda matches my mood, so I'm leaving it.
I've never had a matchy-matchy tree. We have about 50 ornaments that 'mean' something, along with a bunch of glass and plastic baubles chosen (by the kids) mostly when I worked at Billies. So as I put each special ornament on a branch, a flood of memories washed over me. Sucks.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. The ending of this phase of parenting/traditions is opening up opportunities for us to establish new ones. Might an artificial tree be part of my future? Shudder.

2. Maybe with the lack of distractions (not that kids are distractions, exactly...) I will spend some time thinking about the real reason for the season? And let THAT fill me with joy.

3. My holy echo:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" Isa. 41:10