We are not people who usually have a Christmas tree before December rolls around, let alone the weekend after Thanksgiving, but when we got home from our little family trip on Saturday, everyone slept in and woke up to a beautiful, clear Sunday so we took a drive out to a tree farm we have been visiting for a few years. I have mixed feelings about cutting down trees but also have a sort of magical relationship with Christmas trees from my childhood (and a bunch of rationalizations about this particular place). We really like the people who own the farm and Henry was even more thrilled this year than last. We ended up with a lovely, modestly tall tree and he made it clear that it would be decorated immediately.
view from the farm
henry was ever so happy
mia in the front carrier
Over the years that we have been together, rituals have emerged around the whole tree deal and Jason usually does the installation and I do the decorating. I think that’s sort of the way it works in both of our families. I also think it’s sort of bullshit but have come to realize that forcing someone to help decorate a tree (or do anything that is supposed to be fun) when they don’t want to is pointless. So, I have come to enjoy my little ritual of stringing the lights and unpacking the ornaments and distributing them in my own little way.
Last year Henry ran back and forth hanging a few ornaments but mostly was interested in playing with a couple in particular and I believe it only took a couple of days before one was broken. This year however he was completely enamored of the whole process and keep exclaiming, “look at our tree! It’s so beautiful!” He even listened intently as I told him the story behind ornaments and directed his hanging. It was such a pleasure and yet another exercise in letting go. As he bunched and clumped similar balls and stars with no regard for overall composition or even distribution I figured that I would just go back and rearrange after he went to sleep. When we were done though I didn’t change a thing. Those bottom branches remind me of his joy and involvement every day and today, a week and a half later, he pointed out to me again how he made that one on the right longer (using 5 hangers linked together) with a big smile on his face. I am certain that I am going to like this new ritual of sharing the process with my children for years to come far more than I enjoyed the balance and control, as is the case with most things in my life now.
it has a whole story in and of itself
this one says "jason '77" on the back
thanks to jason's grandmother
henry's handiwork, note the extra long hanger chain
still pleased with ourselves the next day
Labels: Henry, holiday, parenting