On Monday night (12/21) I finally broke down and bought a Christmas tree. This is the VERY FIRST tree I have ever had in my own house and I have lived on my own for 10 years now. Yes, I have a 13 year old who has never had a Christmas tree in her house. Bad mom, I know...but here is the reason why.
Our previous tradition was kept by putting up a fake Christmas tree at my father's house, usually on Christmas eve! I grew up with my father (he was a single dad - the best one eva...by the way!) and we always celebrated the season but there wasn't a lot of traditional symbols about it. We didn't always go through the hassel of having a tree, decoration and what not. We just enjoyed the holiday with good food and togetherness. Growing up, I didn't really miss all the hooplah. I think the reason was because we were together. (My mother is Christmas crazy but that is another post altogether!)
This year will be different. My dad isn't here to celebrate with us and my daughter really wanted a tree. I tried to put it off. I knew it would be hard and maybe a little bit emotional. When we were clearing out dad's house, I kept the decorations. I even kept the fake tree, reluctantly. Maybe next year the fake one will make an appearance but not this year.
So, we have this tree. It is only about 3-4 feet tall and very round and fat! CUTE!Ty wasn't so keen on the idea at first. He had to meet me at Target to put it in the back of his truck (it was a sorta last minute/not thaught through trip to Target) adn was a good sport, even though he would have preferred a fake one! (Update: He says he likes it now! LOL!)
I love it and we have it on our kitchen table. It really is the only place it would fit. Tay got to decorate it with the decorations from dad's. When the tree was lit, I started to cry. It made me really miss him. This is the time of year that I am supposed to be fussing at him and him at me! This was one of our famous holiday traditions. Ty offered to fuss at me but I turned down his offer and, between sobs, told him I would rather cry. He just hugged me and told me it was gonna be okay. (Good job babe!)
This year started a new tradition of our own. We have a tree. We have presents under a tree in our house. We will wake up Christmas morning and open presents (this has NEVER happened before) and I can't say that I am opposed to that! Not having to wake up, get ready, travel (not far) and wait for others is a perk and I chose to try and focus on those. I will get through the challenges and will try to come up with ways to keep my father's memory alive. Using his decorations is one way that we have done that.
So, maybe this is the beginning of a new era. A new appreciation for family, holidays and giving. I know that over the passed few years I have made substantial changes and I am excited about the changes/growth that is to come. May we all embrace the successes and challenges that come our way and find ways to cherish the moments we have with loved ones, as we are never guaranteed a tomorrow.
Please remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! Giving not getting is the true essence of the holiday. I write these things because it is important for me to remember them and apply them, even during some of the sad times. It helps!