I am trying to talk my husband into putting up my Christmas tree two weeks early this year. While I pretend it is because I want my children to be able to enjoy the holiday for longer – and that is part of it, the truth is I just want to enjoy the holiday longer.
In my mind, there is simply nothing like sitting on a cold night, in a dark living room, and watching the lights of my tree glow among all those ornaments I have collected through the years. I think my tree is the only place in my life that I have collected all of its trimmings for a specific reason.
There is the ornament I bought on my honeymoon, there is the picture of my children’s first Christmas hanging so beautifully, and there is the annual ornaments I buy each year to signify another day, another life that I have gotten through. I have the red and gold space holders (those little cheap balls I replace every couple of years) but for the most part my Christmas tree is a direct reflection on what I find to be important and beautiful.
So why wouldn’t I want to enjoy it for just a little longer?
Every year, as I take down my Christmas tree I wonder why exactly I didn’t put it up earlier, and why I didn’t take more time to simply sit and watch the lights twinkle? Why didn’t I forget the dishes one night in favor of counting ornaments, and why didn’t I forget my books in order to simply marvel at the peace that tree gives me? And how is it a simple tree can represent to me so many memories, and so many magical times?
I love Christmas. I love the holiday, the presents, even spending money that I don’t have just to watch my children’s eyes light up in the morning. I love the questions revolving around the hope that this year my husband will once again get me something so surprising that it fits perfectly into my life and my own worth. I even love the agonizing moments of wondering what it is that I am going to get my husband.
I love the darkness that is broken by those white lights that are so elegant, so lovely against my wall. I love the skirt around the tree that is always so damaged after lying for a month in a home with a dog, a cat, and two children. I love the happiness that people can’t help but feel, and I even love the lines and the decorations at all the stores while they put their best foot forward to entice me to buy something I don’t need.
I like the imagination used to create a different Santa, a different Snowman, a different Angel. I like the unique, the beautiful, the hand crafted, the personal.
I have always assumed that it is because most of us, including myself, don’t have wonder most of the year. We don’t have a in your face representation of beauty, and joy. We don’t have the faith that once guided us into believing a man could travel the world in one night. We are cynical, we are lonely, we are ugly, we are truly, desperately afraid.
The truth is that the beauty of Christmas, the smell and sounds of Christmas mean more to me than the gifts. I would rather give my children a HUGE Christmas than spend a dime on myself. I would rather give my children the magic of Santa, than try to remember when I lost the belief in anything. And the truth is I would rather give my children and myself two more weeks of the incredible hope, even it means making my husband drag down the tree from the attic, a million miles away.