This past weekend we put up our Christmas tree, we hung our stockings, and ate peppernuts… a Sechler family tradition that both Matt and I are happy to instill in our family. We had Christmas music playing on the record player, our heater running, and the weather was even a drizzly cold mess to make the day even more perfect for decorating indoors.
Seems like the perfect little afternoon, huh?
In reality, the Christmas music had stopped before we started putting the tree together, Noah was a little piggy with the peppernuts so we had to put them away quickly before he stuffed his little mouth any fuller (or more importantly did not save any for us). The ornaments were taken off of the tree as soon as they were each placed on a limb, there were little tree fragments throughout the living room, and the tree was on its side seconds after the ta-da moment. I’m pretty sure both Matt and I were left feeling a bit irritated and tired of saying “don’t touch” “hands off” “NO”!
At times, I still catch myself thinking that things are going to go perfectly. I mean, you see photos of the perfectly sculpted family all over facebook and social media sites and imagine that those families must have it all together. Clearly, by viewing their pictures, you are left assuming that the family was drinking hot cocoa, giving big hugs, and pausing to smile at one another while they hang each stocking from the fire place. Right?! Well… maybe, but not this family.
Noah now has his own Christmas tree to take the ornaments off of, to pull branches from, and to knock over or fling across the living room if he so chooses.
This is real life, this is what actually happens. I can prove that, as I look back at most of my family group activities as a child… generally, at least one child ended up bawling and leaving the room, two were fighting about who owned rights to certain ornaments, and somebody was still in their room not participating in the first place. It’s actually more meaningful to me this way. I have vivid memories of fights that took place! Big families are the best.
Regardless of the fact that I was reminded that things are not always picture perfect, they are pretty memorable in their own way. It was fun looking at Noah’s past 4 years of ornaments and remembering what he was interested in at that time, how they have transitioned from popcorn buckets and marshmallow men to donuts and a minion holding a bunch of bananas.
I also had a great time picking out Maeby’s very first ornament this year. Since it’s hard to know what types of things she’s into, I decided she would like birds this year :)
I hope that if you and your family celebrate Christmas that you too have a memorable time decorating and preparing for the beautiful and important season that is ahead of us.