The other day I was perusing my facebook feed as one does and I came upon an interesting conversation about Christmas trees. A blogger asked this question on her page:
DO YOU PUT UP A REAL TREE OR A FAKE TREE FOR CHRISTMAS?
Consequently, World War III began. I had no idea how strongly people felt about Christmas trees. I also had no idea how quickly that little conversation would grinch the crap out of my Christmas spirit.
I had been so excited to bring out our Christmas tree this year. As our kids get older each year gets more fun. They take our special ornaments out of the boxes and
break them in the process help us put them on the tree. And now it’s even more special because we’re celebrating Christmas with our new daughter added into the crazy Christmas mix.
But suddenly, my fake tree wasn’t good enough. No, sir. It just wasn’t. Not long after I started feeling crappy about it I sought to remedy that by googling to find a local Christmas tree farm. I see so many families making a tradition out of cutting down their own tree. I’ve always wanted to try it but this year I obviously became much more passionate about the idea. You know, because of my sad, fake, smells-like-plastic tree. That thing just had to go.
If people think badly of fake trees then they may think badly of our family. They may even feel sorry for my kids having a non-authentic tree without the smell of fresh pine wafting throughout our house. And I won’t have anyone feeling sorry for my kids.
So I found a Christmas tree farm and explained to my husband that we were going there to cut down our own tree. With three kids in tow. And it was also really really cold. And I decided to bring my camera and tripod and we all have to be wearing clothing that coordinates because now it somehow turned into the perfect opportunity to get the perfect photo for our Christmas cards (that still haven’t been sent).
“That’s not happening,” he said.
“What’s not happening,” I replied.
“Any of what you just said is not happening. We have a perfectly good tree in the basement.”
And so began the long explanation of how we’re denying our children the perfect Christmas. How they will grow up and remember the fake tree. They will have to tell their friends that we are “fake tree people!” ::shudders::
“So, you see, honey? Our kids will hate us! And that’s why we have to buy a real tree,” I exclaimed.
“We’re not wasting money on a tree when we already have one.”
Spoiler alert: He won the debate. Rightly so.
We pulled out our fake Christmas tree and the boxes of plastic ornaments that we’ve had for years, many of which have imperfections or have been glued back together after tiny, curious hands grabbed for them and in their excitement dropped them or squeezed them a little too hard.
Sometimes I think I will replace them in five or ten years. You know, when time has passed and they are old enough to know better. Then again, maybe I’ll leave the cheap, glued-back-together trinkets on the fake tree. Because by then I will miss the simplicity of it. But most of all I’ll miss the tiny, curious hands.
I realized after thinking about it for a few days that we’re not denying our kids anything. I’m a little ashamed at how quickly I let a few Facebook comments make me feel less than.
Our Christmas is not and never will be less than because of a fake tree. Or plastic ornaments. Or the lack of really big, expensive gifts. It is more than because of the love we have for each other.
For anyone who is feeling down about what their Christmas looks like this year I want to tell you –
DON’T LET CHRISTMAS COMPARISON STEAL YOUR CHRISTMAS JOY.
If you love each other and make fun memories and have each other to hold, well, that is the only Christmas you will ever need. And you can be sure it will never be fake to your children.