"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Christmas tree quandary

Sometimes things just don’t go quite the way we planned, and that can make over-planners like me a little crazy. But, I’m working on just taking things as they come…the perfect with the imperfect; the chaos with the calm. I recently wrote here about my very typical, imperfect life, and this week has provided yet another example of how things go wrong in our family just like they sometimes do in yours.

Before I tell the story, you’ll want to know a little background on how we “do the tree” each year, so be sure to read this first.

Back to this year….

It actually did start out as one of those seemingly perfect evenings. It was a night we’d been waiting for: the big, tree-decorating event of 2012. Of course, the top priority for this, as well as most other events we enjoy, is the snacks, so Chandler got busy making the hot chocolate…

…while Remi helped make the special cookies she’d picked out for the evening.

Don’t you just love her placement?

The “kid cookies” were a hit with the girls…

…but we also needed some more adult-friendly ones, so we made peppermint sugar cookies, too.

Then we added some cocktail shrimp…

…some mini-crab cakes…

…and some random (but requested) garlic bread.

Once the snacks were all ready, we put out the cute Santa napkins, cranked up some holiday tunes, and got busy on the tree. This year the three older kids cut the tree down, set it up in the house, and did all the lights themselves. {Happy!}

One of my favorite parts of the season is our tradition of remembering where each ornament came from as we hang it on the tree. Usually I am the one who pulls each one out of the box, and we all chime in with, “Oh, remember when Connor made that back in second grade?” or “Hey, that’s the one Wes & April brought us from Hawaii!” This year, Addison decided she would help me with the handing out of the ornaments while the other kids hung them.

So, we reminisced about each one, and as usual I let the kids put them wherever they wanted. Remington was thrilled about helping this year…

…and added lots of charm to the tree with her special, three-year-old style. Most of the ornaments she hung were either right on top of each other…

…or completely backwards…


And yes, I left every single one of them right where they were!

I even left the ornament Chandler decided to run upstairs and make out of old baseball socks, T-shirts, and apparently his little sister’s hairbands. (But we were all a little bit scared of it. Aren’t you?)

He didn’t seem to think it was very funny (??) that when he came downstairs the next morning, he found pins sticking out of it. {insert giggle}

But, back to that evening…

We got every single light and ornament on the tree, and even put the topper in place…..and then it happened. The entire tree slowly started falling forward. Thankfully we were all still standing there and were able to catch it with only a few ornaments slipping off.

Nervous that it could happen again, I removed some of my more sentimental (and breakable) treasures from the branches and placed them on the piano nearby. Three nights and three days went by, and I decided that the tree’s early attempt to fall must have just been a fluke. So, I put those special ornaments back on, turned off the pretty white lights, and went to bed.

We didn’t hear the crash during the night last night. But we woke up to find that the tree had toppled completely over. Here is a portion of the mess we found:

Needles were everywhere, and the water had spilled out of the basin of the tree stand onto the carpet. The tree skirt was soaked, and newly decorated with the paint that ran from the now-wet shoes that were sitting on it. (I realize that sounds weird. But when we lived in Holland our boys painted shoes—both leather and wooden ones—to leave out for Sinter Klaas. I just can’t get rid of those tiny shoes, even now that their feet are so much bigger than mine!)

Things like this happen. They happen to everyone. And, they are disappointing, to say the least. But really, this is such a minor catastrophe compared to what so many people are going through. Hunger, the loss of loved ones, major financial setbacks….THOSE are things people are understandably sad about. A toppled tree doesn’t deserve to steal our joy. We cleaned it up, we’re letting the carpet (and at least one present) dry out, and we’ll try again. One day we’ll laugh at this relatively insignificant tragedy, and in the meantime we’ll still enjoy the season and all the fun and wonder to be had this time of year.

I know it’s a crazy, busy time of year, but I hope you’re still smiling. In case you need one more reason, I’ll leave you with the clue I found that let me know I had some decorating assistance from a tiny helper this year:

(Because there’s nothing quite like the sight of the aforementioned tree topper gazing lovingly into the eyes of what I affectionately call “the Christmas rat,” and vice versa!)

Thanks for stopping by.


Comments on: "Christmas tree quandary" (2)

  1. When I was growing up one of our trees fell over during the night, too! Glad you have a good outlook! Hope the tree lasts a little longer this time! 🙂

  2. […] (You can read about our tree mishap here.) […]

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