What does your Christmas tree say about you?

As the needles begin to drop and the scent of evergreen begins to fade, I sit and admire our Christmas tree.   For anyone to walk in off the street and look at it, our tree may appear a little curious.  Lights dangle from the bottom branches on one side of the tree where the dogs have run around to bark out the window at passersby.  And on the other side, a puddle of lights lies on the floor where my son squeezes through between the tree and the chair to play with the Christmas train whose tracks once went around the tree but now look like a bad collision took place.  The tree is also only half-decorated this year.  I don’t remember the exact details of what happened, but do vaguely remember that my son, being extremely anxious to decorate, started the project on his own while my husband was working late and I was making dinner.  For some reason we ran out of time and we never got around to finishing it.  So while one side of the tree is loaded with my son’s favorite ornaments the other side is adorned with just a few.  Eventually, we added a handful of candy canes here and there and he made sure that the star was proudly displayed on the top, but that’s about it.  You would think, with our tree being in the front window, it would bother me that it’s not perfect.  A couple of times my son even mentioned that we still needed to finish it, but honestly, it made me smile, so I never reminded him or pushed the issue.

So now that the major rush of the holiday is over and I’m finally able to sit and just reflect a little, I can’t help but to laugh a little to myself.  Although the lack of ornaments never bothered me, we’ve had our tree up since shortly after Thanksgiving and I can’t tell you how many times I put the bottom row of lights back on the tree, frustrated with the dogs for being dogs or my son for having fun.  What was I thinking?  They were all enjoying the tree.  Whether they saw it as a part of Christmas, a new hiding place or simply a new obstacle to swiftly maneuver around to get to the window, lights up or lights down, they loved it.

It wasn’t until tonight as I sat here relaxing that I realized that our tree reflects us perfectly.  We always have the best intentions.  We start out strong and then seem to get interrupted, run out of time, or run out of steam, but we do what we can and surround ourselves with the things that mean the most to us and let the rest go.  We have our quirks, our dangling lights or puddle on the floor, but that’s part of what makes us who we are.    And sometimes we (me especially) need the reminder that things don’t need to be perfect.  Having fun and being in the moment is far more important than perfection.

So tonight as I admire the dangling colored lights, the half-decorated tree with the dogs sleeping beneath, I can’t help but realize that tree is us.  In all its craziness, its incompleteness, its imperfection, it’s us. And it’s perfect just the way it is.

What does your Christmas tree say about you?

Kate

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