Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The Magical Christmas Tree
I've been tackling putting away the Christmas decorations. THE Princess has decided that we should keep them up so we are ready for next Christmas "in a few days." Ah, I love that time doesn't have it's death grip on her yet. Almost everything is "tomorrow" or "yesterday." How I wish I could revert to the days when my biggest worry was how many popsicles I could get away with eating before my mom figured out that I was on my fifth one.
THE Princess's first Christmas, it was just us. Her dad had split just before she was born. I was struggling just to pay the mortgage and going through a terrible divorce. My weekly food budget was $25, thankfully I ate with my mom often. I scrounged together $50 to buy a tree from the Care Center. It came complete with lights and all. They had ornaments for 5 cents and I got about $3 worth. That year, our tree was magic.
We would sit in the dark and look at the lights for hours. Many nights we slept on the couch or made a nest of blankets under the tree. THE Princess was about 9 months old and mesmerized by the lights and the glitter. I was mesmerized by her. It was a little bit of joy in our big old house. A house that seemed empty and quite lonely much of the time.
And that year, I left the tree up until her birthday in March. I didn't care who drove by and saw the lights in the front window in February. We just needed something. Anything. To get us through. The twinkly tree lights seemed to help.
Each year as I pack up the tree and it's decorations (we still use that same one from the Care Center)I think about leaving the tree up until March. Sitting and looking at it in the dark with my little one. The unadulterated joy it brought her. Our tree is magic, you know. THE Princess says so. Plus, we have to be ready for Christmas tomorrow.