I have been dragging my feet preparing for the holidays… actually I’ve been dreading it. Then it hit me why. It was my ex-husband and son who always went out and picked out the tree, brought it home and put up the lights.
I’d be in the kitchen making soup or hot chocolate, playing Christmas carols as the guys went about their work.
After my divorce, I took great pride in my “I can do it” attitude – although there were certain tasks I dreaded. My son was finally old enough to take out the garbage and recycling and I could have the farm stand deliver the tree.
A couple of years ago I was in a longterm relationship with a great man. It was two weeks before Christmas and a gorgeous snow was falling. We all went out to buy the tree together. Although I wasn’t replacing my old family with this new triad, everyone had their rightful roles.
It was a year later that my 16 year old son finally confessed, “Mom, that was strange. It was always dad and I who went out to buy the tree. It felt weird buying a tree with your boyfriend.”
So this year I am dragging my heals. It doesn’t help that my son broke his leg right before Thanksgiving and is on crutches.
“I don’t want to go to the farm stand and pick out a tree – even if it is delivered.” I think to myself. I hate the endless adjusting of the tree in the stand so it’s not leaning left or right or tipping too far front or back. Needles sticking in my hands. My fingers coated in sap.
Last year it fell over – twice. Some of my favorite keepsake ornaments broke – including the glass pacifier ornament from my son’s first Christmas. I was so upset when Christmas was over, I threw out the stand with the tree.
We are driving to school the other day and my son said “the burger joint on main street has an awesome fake tree mom. It looks real. You should check it out before you buy a real tree that was cut down. Just sayin’.”
We then debate the ecology of artificial versus real christmas trees. I explain that real trees just decay turning back into earth.
But here I am on a Sunday night dreading the need to find a stand that is guaranteed not to topple… dealing with needles all over the house and enlisting my son’s friends to drag it to the curb after the holidays are over.
Lately I’ve noticed a new feeling of entitlement brewing in me. There are certain choices I can make now that I’m 60. Although I’m fit and have loads of energy, I’m done struggling in any area of my life.
And even though I have a partner who loves me unconditionally and would do absolutely anything I ask, we don’t live together and my tree is not his issue. (It was actually him who toppled the tree last year lol!)
So I type in Google: “most realistic artificial tree” and carefully study the options. How real do the branches really look when I zoom in? I measure the height of our ceilings. Debate the virtues of vermont spruce or Douglas fir.
Then all the options… wow! Plug and play pre-lit trees. LED or regular lights? Narrow or full width? Sets up in 15 minutes or less? SOLD!
So artificial tree it is! And although it bothers my conscience a tich not to have a recyclable tree, it lifts my spirits to let go of the stress.
If you are feeling the holiday blues, ask yourself, “What can I let go of? What would make this holiday feel light?”
Maybe it’s more easeful decorating. Going light on gifts. Not hosting the holiday party. Or maybe it’s the exact opposite!
Whatever feels GOOD and LIGHT to you is what you should honor. Here’s to the holiday spirit in each of us!