Sometimes we are THAT family; you know the kind – a little dysfunctional, but genuine and cute in our own weird way. We also have THAT dog – the one that sniffs everyone’s privates and then expects some love in return. We are now THAT house – the one that is decorated for Christmas but none of the lights work properly. We, for whatever reason, cannot keep strands of lights lit…
Here’s our tree. Pretty, eh? The lights are still there, sorta. The lights are dark near the bottom, but not all the way at the bottom because that would be way too easy to fix. They are so tangled they are in a pile behind the tree, still attached because we can’t undo them without knocking every ornament off the tree in the process. And broken ornaments would put me in a downward spiral of control freakishness in a hurry.
Here’s our 5 foot tall outdoor tree in all it’s well-lit glory. Cute, right? Whatever.
In case you haven’t figured it out already, I have some control freak tendencies and these trees are driving me CRAZY. Add to all of that the fact the indoor real Christmas tree is no longer taking water (I add water because it is evaporating and it makes me feel better) and I’m just a big mess of tension and stress. Not only are the lights half functional, there are evergreen needles all over the floor. A few weeks ago, the entire tree was leaning so far it would’ve tipped completely over had we not re-set it in the stand.
And then I watch tv and see trees that look like this:
Who – in real life – decorates their tree like this and have it look gorgeous all the time and even have tinsel all cute and evenly spaced and ribbons and bows without sap and tree junk on them?!? I only dream of this type of tree. But then I think, if I had a tree like this, I’d be even more annoying and control-freakish to my family. I’d say things like: Don’t touch the tree! Don’t look at the tree like that or you’ll mess it up! or better yet Stay away from the tree or you’ll ruin Christmas! Seriously, this is how control freaks think, at least how this control freak thinks. I walk around the house moving things a 1/2 inch one direction only to turn around and literally move it back to where it was to begin with.
And then I look at my dark barren spots in my lit trees, the corny ornaments that adorn it, the pile of lights strategically hidden (or smooshed) in the corner, and the village scene that I allowed my children to put together (yes, I allowed it. It was hard, but I let.it.go this year), and, I think, that maybe having an imperfect house, an imperfect dog, and highly messed up trees is okay. If all I am aiming to be is perfect, I’m missing out on the imperfect and the joyful chaos that creates. My children will have memories of mistakes we’ve made as parents, of trees that have tipped over (it happened…once), of gifts we’ve numbered instead of labeled nicely with names (we’re mean and those kids are genius guessers!), of ornaments that are ugly, and of arguments we’ve had decorating because someone wasn’t decorating “right.” We all have our issues, our vices, our quirks. In this house, our (translated: my) issues currently revolve around Christmas tree lights and decorations.
And did I tell you about the crooked wreaths around our outdoor lights? My husband says that’s how they’re supposed to look. I doubted him and he said, “You told me to put them like that.” Whatever.