Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Last year, having recently moved into our new house, I had a picture perfect idea of how I wanted things decorated for Christmas.

But knowing that children have their own ideas, I came up with a brilliant plan of "their tree" and "my tree".

It was fun having two trees, one blue, one red-ish with all the homemade ornaments, one in the family room, one in the living room.

I could decorate to my hearts content, have my tree all "perfect" and color coordinated and they could cluster too many ornaments on one part of their tree, and I didn't have to worry about it.

Something has happened to me over this past year, though.
I'm not sure how to explain it.

I guess, I am coming to a greater understanding of my own issues with control, the nature of that control, and when it matters to control a situation, and when it does not.

This year, I realized, finally, that the experience with my children and my husband of decorating the house for Christmas is not about the end result.

It is not about whether every light is blinking, whether every ornament is placed in the correct zone of the tree. Or whether everyone's stockings hang in order of birth-when in fact some children are happier if their stocking hangs on the A of the SANTA stocking holders, even if it puts her behind Henry and Nora in birth order.

We only had one rule this year with the tree. And that was to hang anything breakable up higher so that little hands could not get to it. But other than that, we just went for it.

And I have to say, it may have been the most fun ever, for me.
I can't speak for everyone else, but when I let go of the control that I always seem to hold onto so tightly, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and enjoyed my children in the process.

Now, I'm not saying that there will never be another year of two trees, or that have a perfectly symmetrical tree is wrong in any way. I'm just sharing what brought happiness to my family this year.

And for your viewing pleasure, photos of our perfectly, not-so-perfect Christmas decorating 2009.

I love Christmas, I do I do.


  1. Isn't it funny how the easiest lessons are the hardest ones to learn?

    I'm the exact same way.

    Good for you. Your kids will always remember this Christmas.

  2. I have the hardest time with this. I feel like sometimes I don't make it fun enough for them. Proud of you!

  3. We had a similar experience this year. The kids each have their own box of decorations ~ I am fine with them putting those up. And there are certain ornaments in the "general" box that they can do. But I really, REALLY enjoy my own ornaments.

    But this year, my sweet Laurel took the reigns, and she put all of "our" ornaments up while I ran an errand. My first thought was HORROR. And then I stepped back and looked at it, and you know what? She did a GREAT job!

    I have to laugh at what your kiddos are (and aren't) wearing. I LOVE it!!

    and don't you love it when the "ugly" ornaments end up front and center in every picture? I don't know how it happens every year, but it does...

  4. Your house looks great! I had a similar experience this year. I did not even unclump the ornaments for days. It was a nice gift I gave myself- to let go of the control and enjoy the experience. Nice post.

  5. Oh, Amy, we are sisters birthed from another mother. But I think I'm freakishly controlling...when someone ends up in tears (usually me) it's time to step away from the tree and rethink things. Thank you for this - I needed a lesson today.

  6. I think more, I guess shabby or humble looking trees are beautiful because of just what you explained. The Christmas fun has been accessible to the kids and brought family joy! Ours looks very similar except more Charlie Brown-ish! We haven't had enough money to invest in our own decorations, we luckily have hand-me-downs. So, I think that helps me with the not minding.


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