The Monster Tree

It has become painfully evident that the magic of Christmas almost all but disappears when you are an adult. For instance, when you are a child, you only notice the excitement and adventure, but never really know about the stress and extensive planning your parents suffered through to bring you that moment. Now that I am grown up and a mommy, I know that the magic comes from the parents. Pfft. Santa? He's got nothin' on me, dude!

Every year, my family waits with anticipation to go to the Christmas Tree Farm. In truth, it's a new tradition--starting the year Lucy was born. Now that my kids are a bit older and actually understand how to look forward to Christmas Tree Day, the excitement is contagious. This year, Teddy asked every day if it was time to go yet. Perhaps that most excited is my dad who got the tradition rolling. Little by little, we convince more of the family to go with us each year. And THIS entire collection of siblings and their little families were going. It was going to be PERFECT!!!!!!


Not really. But almost.

My kids rode with grandpa and grandma. They made it a little ways down the road before my dad pulled to the side, jumped out, and started throwing up. In all my years, I've never seen my dad throw up. My kids, however, got a front row seat. Teddy, all wide-eyed, declared, "Well...papaw can barf!" It was kind of like Teddy was proud. Hey, he could barf too! Go figure!

So, sadly, my dad was delivered back home and the rest of us sojourned on. I tried to reconcile myself to the loss of my dad by saying that he was too sick to be sad that he wouldn't be coming with us. After all, I'd rather someone be puking their guts out than have them be sad. I mean, sadness is WAY worse! Right??? Or am I nuts?

I'm not nuts.

In years past, the weather has been magical on Christmas Tree Day. One year, it snowed like a blizzard. We could hardly see as we traipsed through the rows of trees. There was lots of laughter; everyone was a kid that day. This year, after a long, hot summer with no rain, the farm was a bit sad to see. There were no trees! Even still, it was our special day. "Okay, Gia," you tell yourself. "Put on a smile and pretend this is the most amazing of all Christmas Tree Days. Do it! Just. Do. It."

There weren't a whole lot of trees to pick from. If you wanted to cut one yourself (which we did) then you had to cut a white pine. Roger was thrilled. He loves those the best. He wasn't, however, thrilled with how tough the trunk was to cut through. Big baby.

Everyone picked out the perfect tree. Teddy even pick out, and cut, his own. He was disappointed he couldn't find one that was EXACTLY the same size as him, but he made do. My brother cut an awesome tree, and then the entire top fell off. Bummer. But he found another...

On Christmas Tree Day, it doesn't matter that your anemia is making you feel like an 80 year-old woman. You smile, take pictures and have fun anyway. On Christmas Tree Day, it doesn't matter that your 6 year-old daughter is having a diva moment and crying over positively anything. You hold her close, whisper that she better straighten up or she's going to answer to Santa, and then kiss her cheek and tell her you love her (even if it's through gritted teeth). On Christmas Tree Day, you let the 4 year-old boy go nuts on sugar and caramel stuffed waffles (which, btw, are wicked!).  On Christmas Tree Day, you go into the wreath barn and pick out the prettiest wreath to buy for you mom because she just bought mine and my siblings trees (which she does every year). On Christmas Tree Day, the nice woman in the wreath barn will make you smile when she tells you she loves and admires the guts it takes for a woman to rock a faux hawk....which I do. ;P

On Christmas Tree Day, you will smile in front of the tree you are about to fell (which is also tradition) and pose for the family picture. When you go back through the pictures and notice there isn't a single good, perfect will smile...because, well, that's your family.

All in all, the slightly tainted magic is worth the monster tree claiming most of my dining room. There isn't a single thing perfect in life....

Unless, perhaps, you try to look at it all through the eyes of children. That's when you see the magic once more.


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