I have made it known that I struggle to find joy in the Christmas season. Things like baking, and shopping, and countless places to be - which I imagine, maybe erroneously, bring other people merriment - feel like drudgery to me. What will I buy? What will I wear? How will I get it all done? For that reason, when we go through the trouble of getting our tree, dragging it home, and decorating it, I want it to be where I can see it. We have a front window of our home that would be perfect to display the tree to our neighbors but I am adamant that I want it in the living room where our family spends most of it's time. Nothing softens the hard edges of my scrooginess like hanging out in the living room with my kids by the soft light of the tree, the air pungent with the aroma of pine.
Unfortunately for us, there really isn't a good place in our living room for a tree, so we shift some furniture around and stuff it in a corner by the chair and a half. Even with this cluttered, much less than elegant appearance, it's still worth it to me. A slumpy sofa. A cup a cocoa that I don't get to drink until it's cold. A fire to make me nervous and a tree. It's how I most enjoy the season. And no one would really describe my home's style as elegant anyway, we go for more of a romper-room feeling around here.
This year, however, has been one ongoing battle to keep Ben and Clara out of the tree. Clara, in particular, can't keep her hands off the thing. With an amazing amount of dedication she will systematically strip the tree of everything in her reach. We find bows and ornaments strewn everywhere in our home. And I have become weary of reassembling it twenty times a day. What typically brings me joy has now become the biggest of my Christmas chores. So I made the decision that for this year, and maybe next our tree would look like this.
It's really quite charming don't you think. The top half is so weighed down with all my kids ornaments that they are often prompted to throw themselves to the floor in a suicidal quest for elbow room. Either that or the tree throws them down, disgusted with it's naked bum.
Overall though, it has brought me a twinkly toddler friendly version of peace. And that's really all I ask for these days. Toddler-friendly peace.