Monday, November 26, 2012

A Story About Our First Christmas

We put our Christmas tree up over the weekend!  Do you have yours up yet or do you wait a little longer?  Normally we wait until December 1st to do it, but we did it early this year for 2 reasons: #1. We're just really excited for Christmas!  & #2. My daughter is in a wedding on the 1st and I figured we'd be too busy to do it that day.  So, we got it up a bit early.  I'm sure I'll be sharing some pictures of it and other Christmas decor here very soon, but for today I want to share a picture of another tree with you.

I was reading on someone's blog the other day about their first Christmas as a married couple and the disastrous story made me giggle as it reminded me of my hubby and I's first Christmas.

We were poor that first year.  So very poor.  We didn't think we would even be able to afford a tree at all, but miraculously we found one at Walmart marked down to $18.  It was wrapped up in netting and we couldn't actually SEE the tree, but we didn't care.  It was 7ft tall, it was $18, and we were going to have a tree!

Well, when we got it home we cut all that netting off, stood it up in the tree stand, and....the whole middle of it fell out!  The center was completely dead and dry and the brown needles came cascading down all over the floor.  The outer parts of branches were still green though, so we soldiered on.  

I had already decided on a country/primitive theme.  My sister had given me a bagful of cute fabric ornaments that she had made, and I had a collection of things I had found a craft shows before we were married, and also some things I had made for it - a torn fabric and wooden thread spool garland, cardboard shapes covered in foil (I had read that they used to do something similar back in the olden times), and the tree topper.  I glued sticks together in the shape of a star and then covered them with fabric.  I filled in the empty spaces with dried apples slices.  It looked so cute and homey, especially since I had thought we wouldn't even be able to have a tree.

In setting it up we also discovered it had a slightly crooked trunk (you may have noticed it leaning in the picture).  The day after I took this picture the bend in the trunk got the better of it and it toppled over.  We had to anchor it to the wall with twine after that.  The funny thing was that just the day before we had been watching America's Funniest Home Videos and laughing at all the people who's trees had fallen over!  : )

About two weeks after I got it all decorated (and set back up from it's fall) I was sitting on the couch enjoying looking at it when I realized the apples slices looked kind of funny.  Upon  closer inspection I found that the apples were completely covered in sugar ants and were half eaten!  Needless to say, they had to be pitched, so then my tree had lots of bare spots.

These memories are humorous, but they are very precious to me and it just goes to show you that,
"Good memories don't require perfection." 
(You can quote me on that if you like.)  : )

Most good memories in life don't center around things being perfect.  In fact, it's generally just the opposite.  It's the things that happen unexpectedly, or somehow go awry that provide the most memorable moments.  It's how we choose to deal with the "imperfections" that will decide if it's a pleasant memory or not. 

You could spend hours and hours decorating everything to a T and baking the perfect desserts and dragging your family here there and yonder for different Christmas activities, but chances are your kids/family won't remember your efforts at perfection.  All they'll remember is how stressed and uptight you were.  They're more likely to remember that you were happy just to be with them, sitting on the couch, enjoying your not so perfectly decorated tree, and munching on microwave popcorn instead of freshly baked and fancily decorated sugar cookies that you stressed over.


So keep that in mind this Christmas season.  Don't waste all your time and energy stressing yourself out trying to make it all perfect.  Instead, use that energy on spending a little extra quality time just "being" with your family.  Don't spend so much of yourself trying to make things happen.  Instead, remember the REAL reason for the season, relax and "let" Christmas happen.  First in your heart, and then in your family.  

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  1. I think my weakness is overcommitment during December. Every year I kick myself for saying yes to too many things that make me stress!
    Love the story of your 1st Christmas...beautiful memories!

  2. I agree 100%! I had to remind myself many times on vacation last week that the things that weren't going 'right' didn't really matter. What really matters is that my children see me 'going with the flow' and being happy. I came home so tired but my boys had a very fun vacation that I'm sure they'll talk about for a long time. Thanks for this post (and the funny story!) :)

  3. Wonderful holiday thoughts. Had to laugh about the ants, though. We've had bugs fly out of our tree one year.
    Farmhouse hugs,

  4. I love the story of your first Christmas tree. It is precious! I think the tree is absolutely beautiful. Have a blessed day!

  5. This whole post has to be my absolute favorite!! You are such a wise and thoughtful young lady!! I am stealing your comments to send to my family. They need to know it's okay to just "be"!!


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