Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merrily Mediocre

During this time of the year its easy to get into the "hustle & bustle" of merry making and lose ourselves (and each other) in the festivities.

I have learned this lesson the hard way...and looking back, its hard for me to decide if the experience is more sad than funny or more embarrassing than educational?

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll recall me stating that I have a hard time with moderation and balance. I can go from Ho-Hum to Gung-Ho overnight. I obsess....or am completely indifferent. Nothing or All. You get the point.
A few years ago, I was sick (fulfilling my annual quota of strep throat). I had all the tree stuff down from the attic and spread from here to kingdom-come. The naked, faux pine tree stood shamefully in the corner baring all its plastic quirks and flaws.

And my daughters had an idea!

Surprise mom with a decorated, lit tree.

A good, healthy mom would of been all "Awww! How sweet! How thoughtful! How blessed am I!?!"

A sick, feverish mom was all, "WELL! Thanks for considering me! I'm sick and in bed and you all decide to decorate without a single picture being taken?? The lights are NOT symmetrical! I NEVER put those ugly bulbs on the tree....WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!? I want you to undecorate the entire tree."

Yes, shamefully, I confess. This is a true story.

(and to add to my shame, according to spell check- 'undecorate' is not even a word, because no mother ever has told her child to undecorate a tree)

I killed the Christmas Spirit. Slaughtered it right there. The kids were so upset. I was so sick. The tree was so "freakishly festive"....and the lights were blotches of uneven sparkles strung haphazardly between branches of plastic boughs that had not been uncrunched from their summer siesta, and had not had their annual perking.

It wasn't my proudest moment.

The next week, I decorated the tree myself. The annual Amy Grant Christmas album was brushed off and played. The candles were lit. The cocoa was hot. The kids were at their dads, and  I was alone. The tree was glorious. The most beautiful one to date! And I cried. I cried for the kids. I cried angry tears at myself. Cried over the stupid plastic tree and the stupid lights that blinked at me in symmetrical perfection.

The shame has hung in the air each year. The kids shy away from decorating the tree, and last year said, "It's okay mom, you decorate and just show us where you want us to put our special ornament."


So, true to Spazzymommy M.O. I have done an about-face. A complete 180.

Our Leaning Tree :)

We went to the mountains to get a real live tree this year...and I've left the overseeing of the decorating to the girls. There are coffee-filter snowflakes hanging all over the house....mismatched Christmas ribbons adorning the tree and white lights strung in the oddest places. My house is a big, honkin' Christmas Collage of Chaos. The tree is tilted at a 40 degree angle, because we can't get it to stand properly in the tree base. But the kids are proud....and I feel that I need a little pat on the back too, because I'm genuinely enjoying the merry-making. It's not magazine worthy- not even Pinterest worthy...but it's beyond MEMORY worthy!

My heart aches each time I recall the "Undecorated Year"....and there's a funny tingle of guilt each time I see pictures of the gloriously perfect tree from a few Christmases ago....and although we have the crooked, leaning Christmas Tree with totally unsymmetrical lights- I must admit to date- this merrily mediocre Christmas is my favorite so far! :)

I refuse to stress. I refuse to create chaos with my inclination to be an exacto-freak. I refuse to be a slave to self-implemented demands for a "Courier & Ives" holiday.
SO, in light of all of the above- I am inspired to have a Merry Christmas Season in spite of myself! My heart is content in its medicoreness. :)

Have yourself a Merry (mediocre) Little Christmas.....

Shine all your lights, Cass