"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Friday, December 2, 2011

Staring down a smoking barrel called Christmas

I've not been feeling 100% lately.

And not feeling well makes all the Christmas stuff piled out in the hall feel like a daunting task.  The tree beggars started in and I gave the green light.  Just do it, says I.

And I turned over the reigns and relinquishing the box of "proper" ornaments inherited from my mother-in-law at our first Christmas as a married couple, accompanied by the bin of what we'd call "other stuff".

And I sat in the chair with Bing Crosby singing in my ear whilst issuing gentle reminders to avoid "front loading" the tree.

There was so much fun to be had in the non-micromanagement of a sub par mom.

Later, in the silent darkness of quieted children tucked into bed, I stopped by the tree to unplug the lights and paused for a moment to admire the handiwork.

I noticed the proper ornaments all placed at the back to counterbalance the weighty spread of memories from the "other stuff" bin thickly covering the tree's front side display.  Heavily laden by hand prints and school picture ornaments, baked dough and Scotch taped crafts, each one with a story and a "Remember when ...".  The tree looked less than perfect and yet perfectly perfect all in one go.

And it hit me ... all that other stuff waiting ... in boxes to go up and on my to-do list to go down ... not one bit of it is as important as I seem to think it is.  Apparently, what's most important is on the front of our tree.  And this year, that's all right by me.


  1. What beautiful memories... captured in the most beautiful way.

  2. Oh wow...I just stumbled on your blog from the EO, and this post brought tears to my eyes. The never-ending to-do lists, and you calling yourself a "sub-par mom", which is exactly how I've been feeling lately...just brought a lump to my throat. Your tree looks perfect to me :)
    And, thank you for this...I needed it today.

  3. That is a perfectly perfect tree Marlowe! I love all those handmade ornaments and the "remember whens" we unbox every year. One of my favorite parts of Christmas for sure.
    have a happy day

  4. PS
    how do you do that with the lights....I think i's called bokeh?? LOVE it!:)
    I need to catch up on your photography posts;)

  5. Oh Marlowe, I hope you start feeling better real soon! You are probably rundown from all of your activities and maybe having "re-entry letdown" after your lovely getaway to Breck (jealous!!!). I hope this week is better for you...the pics are lovely and the message is the best! hugs, cathy