Friday, December 29, 2006

Guest Blogger...Gina Conroy

New Christmas Traditions

For years, decorating the Christmas tree has always stressed me out! I think it stems from memories as a child having to help my single-mom drag the real tree into the house, up the 13 stairs and hold the prickly thing while she screwed in the bolts into the tree or vice versa.
Inevitable there'd be arguing.

"You're not holding it straight!"

"Yes, I am" and I've got the scratches to prove it.

"Hold it still."

"I am! Are you almost finished?" (And that's the rated "G" version. )

There was just something about all the work it took to set up that tree that took the fun out of. But I sure did enjoy the ornaments and dousing our Charlie Brown tree with tinsel! Nothing was more thrilling to sit back and watch the blinking lights twinkle on the ceiling. It made the effort worth it.

But years later, after I got married and had kids everytime we'd put up the real Christmas tree the stress would bubble up from within me. Me holding the tree straight, getting scratchy arms, spouting the same familiar dialogue. My attitude was rotten and so unChristmasy that putting up the tree just wasn't fun for anyone.

This year was different. It was probably the first year I didn't get stressed out putting up the tree. Mainly because I didn't put it up and relinqueshed control to my kids which for this control freak is no easy task.

Several years ago I caved in and bought an artificial tree. It was the most realistic looking tree I could afford and so far it's been a blessing. My nine year old LOVES to build things, so when he was itching to build the tree I said, "go for it." His little brother (6) and sister (4) happily joined in, Gracie echoing my instructions "Joey in charge."

And it was a beautiful sight watching the three work. Timmy handed Joey a limb. Joey fanned it out to look like a little Christmas tree. Gracie got to put it in the trunk and then Gracie and Timmy would switch. They even left the top two layers for Chris who was busy finishing his school work.

So although I do miss going to the tree lot and picking the perfect tree and that pine tree smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, I don't miss the stress. And that is the best Christmas tradition ever!

Gina Conroy Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms-- Available now!
Carnival of Christian Writers:
Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted:


At Sunday, 31 December, 2006, Blogger Kris St.James said...

I'm finally coming around to the fact that the ghost of Christmas past is just that: a ghost. No real substance except what we imagine. No real power except what we decide to act upon.

Every year I seem to dig up that old man--no, the Old Man, my father the addict, who I'd love to continue blaming for everything I don't like about me and my life. What a waste.

I have two kids who have never seen him except that part of me I know to be him. I have to constantly remind myself that: 1. I am NOT him, and 2. they deserve happy Christmas memories. That means letting go the ghosts. Not easy to do.

At Tuesday, 02 January, 2007, Blogger TriciaG. said...

Wow, what a great comment, Kris! So true!

Also, Gina, I have a fake tree too. I bought it at Costco on clearance! I love it!

At Thursday, 04 January, 2007, Blogger Gina said...

So true Kris, let go of the past and embrace the new!


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