Monday, December 7, 2009
Oh Christmas Tree!
What is it about magical moments? They are often when we are not the great parents we aim to be.
I remember our first trip to Disneyland. It's supposed to be the happiest place on earth but I saw more kids getting shouted at there than I have ever seen anywhere else before. Too many hot, tired parents trying to keep track of their child in a sea of kids.
Bedtime - I want it to be a snuggly, peaceful time. I want to read a great book with my girls and have them drift off into a peaceful sleep.
More often the scenario involves me getting irritated at the amount of times I have to tell the six year old to get into her PJ's, clean her teeth or put her clothes away.
By the time we get to the story I'm frazzled and she's fed up.
So this weekend we went to get our Christmas Tree. A magical moment guaranteed. I never had real trees as a kid. We had a very spindly silver tinsel one for years. We upgraded to a flashy plastic one when I was about eight. It was top of the range at the time but was made of hard plastic and some of the 'needles' melted onto the lights.
Can we say fire hazard?
A real tree seems luxurious to me. It smells soooo good. It's just so Christmassy.
Going to the lot fills me with holiday cheer. They are just such festive places.
We actually do a tour. One with Santa and popcorn but pricey trees. One that has every type of tree there is - including flocked. I will admit that we are here simply to take pictures.
Then we head to the bargain lot - well it is in my culture to be frugal.
This is where the trouble starts. The baby doesn't seem to like it.
Maybe she feels lost in the woods. Maybe she's not the frugal type. She does only come up to the bottom boughs of most trees. She only wants to be in Daddy's arms.
The six year old has strong opinions this year. She wants an eight foot tree - at a minimum. Explaining tree to ceiling height ratios to an excited six year old doesn't necessarily yield understanding.
The husband tries his "let's get a cute little tree this year" speech. He tries this every year. It falls on three sets of deaf ears. OK maybe the baby would be happy with a small tree but I'm claiming her for my team.
I find my perfect tree. The six year old thinks it's too small. The baby thinks she'd like to go home and the husband would happily join her.
Where is the magic? Where is the fun family moment picking our perfect tree?
I saw us running around the lot, playing hide and seek between the trees. All agreeing on our perfect tree then singing carols all the way home.
Instead with the tree (six year olds choice of course) on top of the car the kids are now cold and cranky.
Determined - we make a stop for milkshakes. Bound to cheer everyone up.
Works perfectly for the six year old. The baby however just pours hers all over herself. Sigh.
Once the tree is up, lit and decorated. We are all returned to happy. We put on some festive music and sing along. I'll take this as the golden moment.
Now for bedtime.....