This Christmas will be mine and my husbands third married Christmas together. Looking back, our Christmases couldn’t be more different. We had our first married Christmas. A year later, we had our first Christmas with a baby all the while closing on and renovating our first house. This year we are settled in our home, most of the big renovations are finished and we have a busy one-year-old roaming around.
Because last year’s holiday season was filled with moving boxes and home renovation decisions it felt like Christmas was gone before I even had the chance to realize it came. My brain was on overload, my husband and I were stretched thin and we were exhausted trying to settle into life with a new baby. In the chaos of moving, I almost didn’t even put up a tree. But my husband, being the good guy he is and knowing how I love Christmas, told me to get it out and put it up. Even if that meant two weeks later, before Christmas was even here, that we would have to pack it back up and add it to our growing pile of moving boxes. Like I said…chaos.
This year’s holiday season has lent itself to a lot less brain overload and chaos. We feel more settled and have found a routine for our little family. That sweet, apartment-sized, fake Christmas tree from our apartment fits nicely in a little nook in our living room. It has been up since two days before Thanksgiving and I don’t plan to take it down until my Husband tells me I have to. We have a small three-foot tree in our office … all a part of my goal to carry on my Mom’s tradition of a Christmas tree in every room! We also got to pick out our first real Christmas tree together this year. We rearranged our house and marked our formal dining room as completely dedicated to Christmas. We have a beautiful, yummy smelling, nine-foot Christmas tree sitting right in the front windows of our house.
My side of the family was still in town for Thanksgiving when we got our tree put up. We turned on the Christmas music, made Wassail and Mulled Wine and got the lights and ornaments ready to decorate the tree. Then our one-year-old got involved…
I would love to say the tree decorating all went smoothly and I was a calm, cool and collected wife and mama who went with the flow. But I can’t. There were ornaments being tossed by a one-year-old. The music was loud. There were poopy diapers that paused decorating. Glitter everywhere. Ornament hooks all over the floor. A crooked tree topper that teetered on the edge of causing a marital dispute. It wasn’t perfect.
But we had a lot of fun. We joked. We danced. We decorated. We drank our favorite holiday drinks and started this Christmas season off right. And that night we got to sit in our dining room with the lights off in front of our tall, lit up tree. The chaos all stopped and it was peaceful. Our one-year-old stared at the lights and the ornaments reflecting his little face and I realized that these moments were the ones I would remember about Christmas.
The chaos, the glitter, the ornament tossing and the loud music… It is all part of what I hope will one day be my kid’s favorite memories of Christmas. Our tree may not always have the most perfectly spaced ornaments and lights and the star on top of the tree may be crooked. But I hope that when all the decorating is done, we get to gather around our Christmas tree in a dark room and sip on our Wassail together as a family.
I don’t know what the coming years will hold. I don’t know what our Christmas traditions will look like as we add kids to our family and as they one-day head off to college etc. But I hope that whatever those traditions are that they will include us, as a family, together.
So here’s to crooked tree toppers, loud Christmas music and way too much glitter. And more importantly, here’s to a Christmas spent making new memories with family!