Many years ago, when I could still count the number of children I had on the fingers of one hand, I was a Christmas tree zealot. Each ornament had to be perfectly in place. I even went so far as to sort all of the ornaments by size, type, and color, and then divide them up so that each tree section had an equal amount of ornamentation. (Hello, my name is Jennifer and I have OCD.)
I didn’t subject my children to this, of course. First, I would let them decorate the tree all helter skelter, and then, after they were all tucked into bed, I would tiptoe down to the tree and spend the rest of the night sorting, dividing, and rearranging until at last every ornament had found a home – a home that was equidistant from all other ornaments on the tree.
I must also admit that I had a special section in the least visible corner of the tree where I would put all of the kids’
ugly special, hand-made ornaments.
It was the perfect system, until one fateful year, when my children all REFUSED to help decorate the tree.
“What’s the point?” they asked. “You’re just going to redo it all after we go to bed, anyway.”
I was ashamed. No amount of cajoling could get them to relent.
I decorated the tree all by myself that year. And the year after that.
It wasn’t very much fun.
I was expecting Jakob, and was way too sick to decorate the tree, or even to care if we had a tree at all. The kiddos were on their own.
The tree was a mess, but they didn’t seem to mind. They loved it anyway. My Christmas Tree Scrooge heart was beginning to grow.
For the next few years, I would supervise a bit, but I did not re-do every decoration after the kids were in bed. (OK, I might have redone a few of the really awful ones, but I think that I showed amazing restraint, all things considered.)
Then I had Bitsy, and completely lost control of all things domestic.
And here’s the exciting part:
This year I stood by and watched as the kidlets happily decorated the tree.
Which means that we have some sections that look like this:
And some sections that look like this:
And some very proud munchkins that look like this:
It’s been up for almost two weeks now, and I haven’t moved a single ornament.
It’s still beautiful, don’t ya think?