There are eight, Smarty-flavored candy canes hanging in one clump on the top, left side of my tree because apparently big brother thought the tree would be a great place to hide his sugar stash.
There’s a giant gingerbread man threaded with bright, blue shoelaces hanging front and center.
There are broken ornaments hanging in awkward places on top of each other and others that have been stuffed into the boughs of the tree…barely hanging and barely seen.
The beads are a tangled mess because when the tree fell less than 12 hours of putting it up (because little sister was hiding under the tree skirt), I wasn’t able to figure out which pieces of the trees needed to be turned and which ones needed to stay.
The tree is tilting at a weird angle because of said “tree fall” mentioned above, which has probably permanently bent the frame of the little, six-foot pine.
There is a large bobble-headed Batman hanging on my tree. Enough said.
The tree skirt looks like a red-hot mess because the kids find it really fun to hide themselves and their toys under this piece of fabric. Oh, and there’s a bunch of fake “needles” sprinkled all over that red, hot heap.
There is a ginormo paper craft from Sunday School hanging right beside Mr. Gingerbread man.
All of the Hallmark ornaments that play fun music are now congregated toward the bottom, along with all the Dr. Seuss ornaments, because the kids have removed them from their original branches and arranged them in a more reachable place for their little hands.
And at the very top (where pretty, shiny stars are usually hung), there is a Baby Jesus painted on a piece of white foam that is hung with a leftover ribbon from big brother’s 1st birthday party.
My tree is a hot mess.
But as I looked over at our little tree tonight, I realized that even though my tree would never be showcased in any store window, or pictured on any magazine cover, or “ooo’d” and “aaah’d” over by any of our friends or family members who come to visit, it’s okay.
Because it’s not my tree; it’s our tree.
And our tree looks a whole lot like our current season of life–busy, and messy, and full of happy/sweet/and sometimes awkward memories.
And as I sat around the table tonight, eating pizza with my kids and my parents, I realized that in 20, short years, I could be eating pizza with my kids and my grand-kids while looking over at their cray-cray Christmas tree. And when I thought about that mind-blowing thought, my heart fell a little more in love with our cray-cray tree and this current season of life.
Sure, this season of life doesn’t involve a picture-perfect tree with color-coordinated ornaments that are methodically placed near beads that have been symmetrically hung on a tree that doesn’t tilt and isn’t surrounded by a bunched up piece of needle-laden fabric, but that’s perfectly okay.
Because there will be many, many years when I will have the opportunity to sit around my picture-perfect tree (if I do so choose) but the years of these littles being little…well, that won’t be forever. And I imagine that this current season of tilting, gaudy trees will be one that I remember and treasure for years and years to come.