Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Taken Out by the Christmas Tree (Again)

One of the things about the holidays that gets me every single year is putting up the Christmas tree. I remember as a kid going to my parents closet in about August and standing there because that's where the Christmas decorations were, and I couldn't wait for Christmas. I couldn't wait for the magic of the greens and reds and tinsel. Sometimes I could faintly smell the cinnamon potpourri.  We did the whole Thanksgiving thing of watching the Macy's parade, eating the big meal, and then sometime that weekend putting up the decorations. I loved the excitement of getting out all of the stuff and putting it in its special place for the season.  I also remember thinking how odd it was that I had vivid memories of putting up the decorations, but no specific memories of taking them down.

Anyway, it was one of those magical things about holidays and traditions that make childhood what it is, and as I got older, I couldn't wait to recreate that for my kids. Only, it's still just me. Every time I put up the tree, I die a little bit. It's just me by myself collecting the boxes from their respective places, and there's no one to help decide how to do the lights on the tree this year. My dad always used to get so frustrated with the lights, so as soon as we were old enough, we took over that task. My siblings and I would decide about blinking or not blinking, etc. We would get frustrated with the tangles of lights or the ones that you check and they work perfectly, but then you put them on the tree they don't work right. Putting the lights on the tree by myself is the worst of all of it. Each year, it's a fight to put up the tree. I don't do a ton of decorating, but I at least have my tree and a couple of other things.  The question becomes, why do it? If I'm constantly fighting that feeling of "what's the point?", then why subject myself to it?

Well, I'll tell you. It's because I still matter. Even if I can't be creating Christmas magic for a family, that doesn't mean that I'm not still worth the hassle of a tree just for myself. It's because even though putting up the tree hurts, having it up makes me happy.  It's because I refuse to let depression and my circumstances take away one more little thing for me.  It's because when the evenings are cold and dark, the lights of the tree in the evening are warm and inviting.

So, yeah, it was extra difficult this year with extra stuff going on outside of just dealing with decorations and such this year. Yes, my post the other day was in the midst of putting up the tree. However, it's up now, and I just have a few little touches to finish up the rest of my decorating. The smell of cinnamon (still my favorite at Christmas) is starting to permeate the house. It wasn't easy, but it is worth it to me.  I'm not saying that everyone that's going through a hard time should force themselves to put up decorations. It's different for each person.

Taken out by the Christmas tree again this year. However, it's really no match for the people in my life (like you!) that I can tell about it, and you get it and you care. And now that it's up, it's a good thing.

10 comments:

  1. I would totally attend a tree-decorating party at your place if you lived closer. It's true, trees and decorating in general is a pain in the rear when there's no one around to help. You ARE worth it, and I'm glad you went through the effort to get it done. Sorry it's effort to you though. Hoping things start looking up from here. <3

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  2. We'll been gone for 10 days this year, from before Christmas until after New Year's. With Husbandido working 50 - 60 weeks, leaving everything else to me, I was wondering if we really wanted to go to the trouble of decorating. (I still haven't found what happened to all the Halloween decorations after the kids played with them at the family birthday party a month ago.) But my husband was adamant that we decorate; we haven't gotten very far yet, just outdoor lights and the wreath on the door, but you have reminded why we should. "I (we) still matter." And yes, the tree and the nativity and the other decorations make me happy, too. (Even if I wish they were less work to cart upstairs and set up.)

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  3. I'm so glad you put up.your tree! Picture please? :) I hope it brings you joy throughout the season

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  4. Yes! So much yes here! Love you!!

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  5. Wow, this is beautiful. God bless you!!! I hope you have a wonderful and magical holiday/Advent season!

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  6. Love this post! This is the very reason I finally got myself a Christmas tree last year and set it up. I haven't gotten mine up this year yet, but it's on the plan for my weekend. Praying you have a very blessed Advent! :)

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  7. (((Hugs))) and prayers for you during this season. I am glad you put up the tree though! We won't be decorating much this year because we have so much going on and may be moving by the end of the month. We will be having a tree with lights though :)

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  8. I can't say for sure, because the actual act of putting up the tree hasn't bothered me before, but I think I might try to handle it like you. I am the kind of person who wants to face my struggles and just "suck it up" take a deep breath and plough forward. Not sure if that is what you feel like you are doing, but that is what it seems like to me. I can only imagine how you feel of course, so forgive me if any of that is insensitive. You're in my prayers.

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  9. Oh, I know, a lot associated with this time of year can be so difficult and sometimes knocks you down when you least expect it. I'm grateful for you, though, and you definitely DO matter! I hope you can get lots of enjoyment from seeing your tree up now. :) (Also, we should try to go hiking sometime. It might be a long shot to try before Christmas, but one of these weekends, sometime!)

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  10. I've always (well, except for 1 year when YS put the tree together for me) put the tree up by myself. The boys would help for about 5 minutes, then lose interest. It's nice to have one, have the lights on, and sit with the overhead lights off.

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