Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree I have a moment. A moment where I think, Gosh wouldn’t it be nice to have a designer tree where everything was color coordinated and matchy matchy?
This year that moment lasted longer than normal. Partly because I let my daughter talk me into the multi-colored lights and partly because I was tired and opening that last box of mostly-handmade ornaments about did me in.
But as we hung the last of the glass and tin icicles I remembered who I am.
I am the little girl who made ornaments with her mom and hung them on the tree every year into my twenties, remembering only bits and pieces of those creative, happy moments as I grew older but holding their specialness in my heart.
I am the heart-on-my-sleeve woman who gets teary hanging the painted egg that came from Norway when I was an infant and the tin Scottie that reminds me of my childhood pups and the glass ball from our honeymoon in St. Lucia and the two hand-painted gifts from other baby loss moms the year Benjamin died.
I am the mama who delights in her daughter’s pride as she places her handiwork carefully on gently drooping branches and stretches on her daddy’s shoulders to add the yellow construction paper and glitter glue star on top.
This is our tree. This is our way.
Whether it’s your holiday decorating or the clothes you wear or your path to peace, or success, or joy, forget what everyone else says to do and find your way. YOUR way.
In this moment, what is right for me?
In this moment, what is my way?
In this moment, how do I want to feel?
In this moment, who am I?
Ask the questions and listen closely for the answers. Then turn your face in the direction you want to go and walk, even if it’s against the crowd.
P.S. Changing direction is always allowed if you’re following your heart.
P.P.S. Remember to be kind in the process. To yourself. To your loved ones. To those walking another way.
P.P.P.S. There’s a lot of talk of joy as we enter the holiday season. If you’re not feeling it, give yourself permission to be okay with that. Find your way through the holidays, even if it’s not pretty and shiny and bright.
I worked hard at accepting a faith that wasn’t mine. I worked hard at letting go a childhood trauma around the Christmas holiday.
There are so many triggers that can come with this time of year, it makes my heart lighter to read your leaning in and owning the way you are, and the way you feel at this season.
Thanks for sharing…
Sorrow – it’s a trigger filled season for so many. Ugh. My heart was feeling a little raw and achy when I wrote this…thank you for letting me know yours is feeling lighter. Funny enough, mine is too.
Sheila Bergquist says
I would much rather see a tree like this than the fancy, perfect ones. This tree has something they can’t have and that’s heart. And that’s what this time of year should be about.
I have a really hard time with holidays and generally just try to ignore them (I’m alone, so I don’t have others to consider when it comes to this). I hope your holidays are peaceful and gentle for you this year. Your ability to cope with your emotions is something I so admire and respect about you. I hope to be able to do it as well someday.
Love to you and big hugs.
Sending you love this holiday season Sheila, and wishes for ease as you navigate it. xoxo
Love love love the star!
This year I’ve given myself a ‘year off’. No pine tree, no traditional decorations. The past years have been so heavy with emotions, that all seem to be culminating in decorating The Christmas Tree…. and for the first time I allowed myself to say ‘stop’.
I’ve bought a big bottle of green paint and the boys and I will be painting a huge tree on our windows. Still a tree, but in a different shape and without having to open those boxes from the storage room. I can’t wait for our fingers to get messy!
love to all of you,
What a brilliant idea Roos! I’m feeling the same way about holiday cards this year. I haven’t quite given myself permission to say Stop! yet but you’ve got me thinking…
Love to all of you too.
Mary Ellington says
Love this idea!
Mary Ellington says
Alana, I saw one of those beautiful trees yesterday. I was startled to see it was decorated by the man who manages the building where I work. It seemed so effortless. I seriously wanted to ask him to come do my tree. What would he think when he saw all the ornament boxes? Like Sorrow, I love the way you embraced your inner designer and, as they say in Frozen, let it go!
P.S. Is it okay to share this post on my blog?
Mary – it’s funny how “those” trees come easily to some. Not to me. 🙂
And yes – thank you for asking – I’d be honored if you shared this on your blog.
Sending you love as you hang those many ornaments!