Since my girls were little, putting up the Christmas tree with them was a special occasion. My husband never helped with the event, so this was strictly a female endeavor. Every year we’d hall out crates of decorations from the basement and meticulously place the special ornaments in places of status. As we decorated, we’d recall why and when we got the bobble.
We had all kind of ornaments. My favorites were the ones we had made together, like clothespin reindeer and macrame angles. Every year, I’d also give each of them a special ornament for something they either loved or achieved that year.
The goal was to provide a collection of ornaments that meant something to them for their own Christmas trees once they moved away. I figured because putting up a Christmas tree together every year was such a wonderful occasion, they would take joy in doing it for themselves once they had their own homes.
But, like a lot of things we plan for our children, this tradition didn’t stick. Maybe it was due to the fact that their father never put up a Christmas tree after our divorce. Maybe it was just too painful for them to remember when we all lived together. At any rate, the result was the same–no Christmas trees in their dwellings for almost 20 years.
So, last year I trumped my youngest daughter’s stubbornness with a Christmas tree night light that she can just plug into a socket in her bedroom. She laughed hard when she opened the gift and said, “Mom, you just don’t give up, do you?” I replied, “Nope.”
Over the weekend we went shopping together,and she told me she had plugged in her Christmas tree night light, remembering last year when I had given it to her. Then my oldest daughter, who recently suffered a divorce, called from Seattle and said she had put up a Christmas tree for herself. She said she still had a few of her childhood ornaments I had given her and it had been nice to remember happy times.
I just smiled. I love it when a plan comes together–even though sometimes I have to be EXTREMELY patient for it to come to fruition.