Merry Grinchmas Mama

This was the first year that the girls really took charge of decorating the Christmas tree. I strung the lights after hubby made a last-minute trip to the store for three more boxes. I don’t know about your house, but Christmas tree decorating just wouldn’t be complete until one strand of lights is declared dead on arrival upon retrieval from the attic.

I wrapped the garland around the tree and then the girls went to work meticulously hanging most of the ornaments. I let them have at it, stopping occasionally to regale them with stories of particular ornaments. There’s my favorite Hallmark Snoopy animated ornament, a gift from my oldest sister in the 1980s when I was just a kid. There are the dogs’ photo ornaments and the baby’s first Christmas ornaments and the beautiful blown glass ornaments I bought at Lord & Taylor in Chicago years ago that I pack separately because they are so fragile.

We have several plain solid ornaments to fill in the bare spots, but the tree was starting to look pretty festive as it was.

“Girls you don’t have to hang those plain ornaments. The tree looks pretty already!” I said, trying to hide my let’s just get our pjs on already impatience.

I’ll admit I was getting a bit tired of all the Christmas cheer. I noticed the clock inching toward 9 p.m. On a school night. There were storage boxes to put back in the attic and approximately 1,248 fake tree needles to be vacuumed. I know. I counted. (Kidding! But don’t put it past me!)

I am such a freaking Feliz Navidad killjoy.

I can actually put part of the blame on Saint PMS and the fact that 9 o’clock is my mama witching hour as in IT IS TIME FOR YOU CHILDREN TO BE SNUGGLED UP IN BED! Go brush your teeth!

“Mom,” Miss C replied, her hands on her hips just like someone else in our house, not naming names but that person could be me, I’ll never tell. “Just because these ornaments are plain, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be on the tree.”

And then I felt like a complete holiday heel. A jolly jerk. A veritable Grinch. My 8-year-old daughter was teaching me to treasure each and every moment of Christmas, and not just the shiny, pretty parts.

The girls joyfully hung each plain glass ball on the tree as if they were hanging hand-blown antique ornaments.

We made the Christmas joy last another hour. They stayed up until nearly 10 finishing the tree and then sipping on eggnog by the fire and enjoying the lights. I could barely wake them up Monday morning to get ready for school but they were still glowing about the tree and its beauty.


  1. Jennifer says:

    I tried to get my kids help me hang the ornaments and they just didn’t really want anything to do with it. It was kind of disappointing.

  2. Tiffany says:

    Cute story…cute girls! Don’t ya just love being put in your place? My favorite part of Christmas is actually unwrapping the ornaments. Instead of souvenirs when we travel, we pick up one ornament to hang on our tree. Each year we unwrap lots of memories!

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