“It’s beginning to look a lot like Chris..” Oh, hey. Sorry, I didn’t see you there. I probably couldn’t see you over this Christmas tree branch, with three ornaments piled on top of each other. It’s fine, really. Christmas is about the kids. Christmas trees aren’t meant to look nice. I mean, they are only the focal point of your living room, for several weeks. Who cares if all of your ornaments are hanging on the bottom half? What does it matter if there are clusters of decorations, in sporadic locations, and big gaping holes, in others? Your husband didn’t spread out the branches, when he took it out of the box, so you can see the pole that runs through the center? No big deal! It’s going to be alright. It’s beautiful, in its’ own way. The sweet babies did it. And they had such proud smiles on their gorgeous faces, while they placed another bulb on a crammed limb, while looking away and reaching for another one. It's okay.
Nope. No, it is not. There is nothing about this that is okay. It is a Christmas cluster f**k. All chaos, clutter and candy canes. Listen. I am not the bitch who stole Christmas. I let my littles do their magic on the tree. I smile, masking clenched teeth, while a vein is throbbing in my forehead to the beat of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town". Anxiety holding back a scream, with her fist in her mouth. But, we power through this annual affair. It is for the children!
No. No, it’s not. Not all of it. The strange little elf, that shows up totally uninvited, and messes shit up? That is for them. The friendly, older gentleman, his girl boss wife, and their crew of elves, that spend the festive season getting toys and other treats ready and then delivering them, on Christmas day? All for them. And there is nothing that I love more than watching my beautiful boys bask in these wonders of the season. But, the tree? It is for this Neurotic Mama and her not-so-festive elf – Anxiety Elf. She brings lots of joy to the season, let me tell you. So, as soon as those babies are out of view, I become an ornament moving ninja. Silently and swiftly, I fill in the gaps and de-clutter the poor sagging limbs. I separate branches and remove the random Bowser action figure, all in one fluid movement. By the time the boys make their way back to the tree, they don't notice the transformation and they found their lost Bowser toy. It is a Christmas miracle!
My earliest memory of tree trimming tension was when my husband and I put up our first tree together and he displayed the same cluster decoration pattern, that our littles do now. He also pulled out, what I imagined to have been dough at some point, but that now resembled crumbly, undefined mounds with chipped paint, that were attached to yarn. This grown ass man holds up these badly preserved relics of his childhood and beams at how clever he was….when he was four. WTF? Here's the way I see it. A baby ball? Adorable. I have one of those, too. Your favorite ornaments when from you were small? Absolutely. Mud pies that you made when you were in Kindergarten that now resemble cow patties? Why though? No. Nope. However, I don’t keep my children’s hair or teeth, either. I mean, I am not a serial killer.
Ergo, the tree is mine. I will continue to shift decorations, from now until we take it down. Me and Anxiety Elf will keep finding ways to make it better, feeding our Christmas tree compulsions. It’s fine, really.
Does Mommy need to lose her shit?
Not this week.
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