The Christmas tree was a big part of my family Christmas celebrations. Early in my parent's marriage, they had saved the trunk from one of their trees and drilled holes in it to make a giant Advent log to light a candle every day from the first day of Advent until Christmas. We ALWAYS cut our own tree, scouring the tree farm for the perfect tree with the straightest trunk, no bare spots, a good height, the right needles. We used white lights, not colored ones--much to my dismay as a child, fortunately Grandma decorated with colored lights. We had handmade ornaments, beautiful ornaments my mom received from her students, and others that we collected over the years, until we had so many that my brother and I used mini-trees for our ornaments.
But then one day-after-Christmas, Mom bought a fake tree just in case. Twenty years of Christmas tree success was bound to run out. And the next year it did. We cut a tree, but somehow missed how crooked its trunk was. It wouldn't stand up straight for all our efforts and we pulled out the fake tree. We might have tried a live tree again, but my brother and I were away at college and beyond, Mom was doing grad school, and things were just easier with a tree that has three pieces and just needs fluffing.
Fast forward to Christmas in my own apartment, creating new traditions with my husband. We're coming upon our fifth Christmas together. The first year, I actually borrowed a tree from my best friend, because I wanted one so badly. The second year, I was taking three classes and was so stressed out I couldn't handle a tree. The third year we put up our own tree decked in blue and silver, and I dreamed up the idea of creating Chrismons for the next year. The fourth year, the Chrismons fell through a bit and we ended up with a red and gold tree which was lovely. And now...
Should I let the practicalities drown out the sentiment? I work full-time, I'm finishing up classes, we won't be around for the two weeks around Christmas. Do I let the tree function as a form of procrastination? You know my list isn't long enough. What does a tree mean in the scope of my Advent preparations? This year, I'm much more excited about the devotion practice I've been cultivating (guilt-free!) over the past year.
I'm conflicted and giving too much thought to my musings. (Ah! Another form of procrastination!) Last night I pulled down my early Christmas box and decorated in about 5 minutes; okay 10 because I kept losing a nail. Maybe over the weekend, I'll find a similar gap of time and just go for it. Christmas will come regardless. We'll celebrate the birth of Jesus, anticipate his return regardless.
This post is part of the blogging adventure Via Scribendi. Check out the blog to read more Christmas Memories.