Once upon a time, way back in a land before children, I had a Christmas tree. This was a live tree, much as it is today. Some traditions never change at least.
That tree in this time long ago had all white lights strung amongst its branches. It had beautiful pearl ropes shining their luminescence amongst the green. And the ornaments all matched. They were all from the same manufacturer and coordinated. They weren’t breakable because I knew better even then, but the tree was a model of uniformity and beauty from the tree skirt that belonged to my Gram to the angel high at the tippy top of the tree.
And then kids came. When the wee ones were born, we started to add other ornaments to the tree. They’re the same kind that most parents have, I’m guessing. That first year, we added the requisite “baby’s first Christmas ornament” with a photo of Mister Man. Awww, wasn’t he cute?
Over the years, we created a tradition where each child chose (or had chosen) a new personalized ornament to reflect what that child loved at the time. We’ve had everything from Elmo beating a drum to dinosaurs to froggies. And of course, Mister Man has his tae kwon do black belt ornament. I’m ok with adding these, and one day, the wee ones will take these ornaments with them to decorate their trees, just like I did with my ornaments I got when I was a child.
And of course, what Christmas tree in a house filled with children would be complete without all the “special” projects and ornaments they create in school? Of course we display those, and unlike some of my friends, I don’t hide these in the back of the tree. I let the wee ones place them where they will. Of course, if that means that they clumped them all together in a two foot area of the tree, I reserve the right to later go through and declump the ornaments. And I’ve done that… a few times already this year.
All in all, I love our tree. It may not be the synchronized beauty it was Before Children, but it has a charm all its own. Our angel may be long gone and sadly broken, but I’ve moved on and we now have a lovely – and unbreakable – star to put at the top. I may have been ready to feed my children to the wolves by the time we finished decorating the tree and attempting to take photos for the Christmas card, but it’s a beautiful tree. I may have felt the need to go through and reorganize and declump ornaments from around the tree – repeatedly – but I love my tree.
And this morning, I walked past our tree as I prepared to more artfully arrange a few of the ornaments to ensure they are evenly distributed when I noticed something new. Someone has been adding ornaments to my tree. Someone has also been raiding my paper clip collection to create ornament hangars for these new ornaments. And it isn’t just one. They are popping up all over my tree.
What is that, you might ask? Why that is a red Puffle, of course, from Disney’s Club Penguin. Just in case Santa hasn’t gotten the message that certain children living in our house would like Puffles for Christmas, the wee ones are going to cover my tree with these ornaments.
Well… at least until they sell them. I’ve been told the ornaments are for sale. They’re only $1 apiece (because, I was informed, that covers the cost of the paper, markers, paper clip, and labor), and the first person to buy any gets one free. You can tell they’re children of a marketer.
So who am I to complain about the transformation of my tree? It has become more than a symbol of our family; it’s full of our love and joys and passions, too. But if you’re interested in a Puffle ornament, let me know. I know where you can buy one. Cheap.