I believe in twinkle lights and I believe that sometimes you just have to start all over. The last three weeks I have done everything I could not to put up the Christmas tree. I have cleaned, reorganized, thrown a company party, written a grant, had a garage sale, and began this essay. Yet as distracted as I was, I could not shake the fact that my Christmas tree was not up. It is now December 20th. Why do I keep putting this off? I ponder, I justify, and I question and I finally come to the conclusion that my tree does not come out the way I see it in my head. My lights are not evenly disbursed, my ornaments are a hodge-podge of ornaments that my kids either made or ones they picked out yearly based on the year’s events. To top it all off, I have purchased a new star every year because the top of my tree looks nothing like the top of the trees I remember in my childhood. So needless to say, Macy’s will not be coming by to snap a picture for their December catalog. This morning I wake up determined to get the tree up and I had an epiphany…. it is not the tree…it is the lights. I need to start all over…I need twinkle lights…magical, wonderful, unadulterated, clear lights. So, I put on my flip flops (yes, I live in Texas and it is 80 degrees at the end of December), go to the store and pick up clear, twinkle lights My colored lights have to be tossed. I needed to start over. And start over I did.
I am still pondering this feeling I cannot shake. The feeling that comes once a year at a time that is suppose to be the “most wonderful time of the year”. Is it the tree or is that like the tree, my life has not turned out as I imagined? Is it the change that occurs when marriages end, parents die, kids get older, budgets get tighter, and houses emptier? Most of these changes are not new to me, but every year I expect things to come together like they use to: big family meals, kids waking up way too early you– How stupid is that? Today I need to realize that I need to store those memories like I plan to do with the old lights, and begin new ones. Embrace friends, mature sons, my church family, and relax during these holiday weeks. Be thankful for the wonderful family I have not envious of others’, be thankful for the attitude my kids always have about the gifts they receive, And most of all, be thankful that I have so much to be thankful for. And… I must not forget the twinkle lights that have helped me work through the holiday blues. This I believe.
PS: My tree is up and Macy’s should stop by J