Imperfect Memories

Last weekend, we picked out our Christmas tree and brought it home. It was pouring down rain, but work was about to get very busy for my husband, so this was our best day.

We lugged a soaked, 10 ft. tree on top of his SUV while the rain poured down on us. I was honestly proud that I was able to help him get that tree on top of the car. So satisified with myself, actually, that I wasn’t much help tying it down. I was too busy being proud of myself inside of the dry car.

So, we let it dry out and got the tree inside of the house, and it started shedding it’s needles. Now, this is a Fraser Fur. They are supposed to be good about keeping their needles. But this thing was shedding needles everywhere! This is probably our 10th real Christmas tree. So, we know how to choose a good tree, and we know how to care for it too.

I was disappointed. I started to worry that our tree would be naked by Christmas! My worries about this tree were almost all consuming. I feel ridiculous as I type this. I should have just been thankful that we can afford to buy a real Christmas tree.

I started to wonder if we should replace the tree which felt very wasteful.

I think the need for a “perfect” tree was a coping mechansim. There is such a sense of loss in the world right now. I just wanted our tree to be beautiful.

Over dinner a couple of nights ago, Mario and I were talking about this tree and what to do. I shared that I was worried that we would have a Charlie Brown tree on Christmas this year. We debated putting lights on it and letting it sit for a few days before making a decision, and as I took my last bite of dinner, everything went black.

The power went out.

After the initial shock, we both started to laugh. It was 7 PM, and I had just put our Thanksgiving prepped food in the fridge. Now what?

It felt like I was at a crossroads. I could sit there in fear. Fear that our food was going to be ruined. Fear that our tree was diseased.

Or we could make a memory.

So, Mario grabbed the flashlight. I lit some candles, and we decorated our sketchy Christmas tree by candelight. I played Christmas music on my phone, and we talked about the ornaments as we pulled them out of the box. We were very intentional with our placement of the lights and ornaments since it was so difficult to see, haha.

At one point, Mario said, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if the power came back on and these lights didn’t work?”

What.

That had not dawned on me. Oh my! I think that might have sent me over the edge. But as we put our finishing touches on our tree, the power suddenly came back on, and our tree sparkled and shined.

Wow. Our tree looked simply gorgeous. We stepped outside to admire it together.

Honestly, I don’t know if this tree will make it until Christmas.

However…

I don’t want to miss out on the good in my life because I’m worrying about little details that won’t matter 5 years from now. Sometimes, it’s the imperfect memories that make the best memories. When life brings us constraints, we get creative. And that creativity, makes the moment richer. More meaningful.

I will never forget decorating our tree in the dark. It makes me smile. It is, in fact, the only memorable tree decorating story that I have up to this point in my life. I wouldn’t change it.

There is a saying that it’s a bit trite but true, “Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans.”

Let’s cherish the imperfect little moments that make up a life well-lived.

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