I have given up on the idea of a dreamy white Christmas. You know, the kind where all the kids smile for that Christmas picture–or at least look at the camera without having been bribed with candy or making threats to tell Santa they’ve been naughty.
Nope, instead–I have embraced this.
And I love it.
This is my family. We are a bit crazy.
We aren’t always polite. We are loud. We are stubborn. We fight over Christmas trees. My husband likes the Douglas Firs.
I’ve always wanted a Noble (you know the kind with the stronger branches to hold the ornaments). I’ve never gotten a Noble Fir. I’m finally ok with that now. I’ve never gotten the white lit tree with elegant decorations. I’m ok with that, too.
We have multicolored flashing lights and ornaments that have special memories of each year. The kids love it and so do I. We have an angel that sits crookedly on our tree. Do I look bothered? I’m learning to embrace imperfection.
Why? Because I’m learning that these imperfect moments are the ones I remember most fondly. These moments represent the real us, and we are imperfect.
So instead of relating to each other with our perfect holiday photos and our magazine-worthy decorations–
I can’t tell you how many times we have spent hours, even in the rain, searching for a tree to cut down. When someone finally spots the tree, it’s perfect! Well, at least half of it.
One year, I refused to say yes to the tree my husband picked. It was near a tree we found bugs on. I was certain that any tree in its vicinity would also have bugs. At this point, my husband just wanted to get the tree and leave. Did I mention it was raining?
So I got my choice. When we got home and put the tree up I had to swallow my pride when I found red beetles on it. Sorry, hon.
After frantically searching the web and imagining my home infested–I am happy to inform you that we survived with only a few hitchhiking Boxelder bugs.
The Year I Didn’t Cook a Turkey
I was determined to have the best dinner ever before we decorated our tree. I was making my first turkey with a Martha Stewart recipe. The gravy involved a lot of prep and ingredients and was going to be oh-so-good! Everything was perfect— in my mind.
I followed the directions to a T. This recipe involved cooking the turkey on broil for part of the day and then turning it to low for the rest of the day. But it was 6:00 and the turkey didn’t look done. I called my mother-in-law frustrated that our dinner was going to be late.
She came over and said, “Honey, the oven isn’t on!”
Somehow I must have turned the oven off! All the visions in my head of being the perfect wife and mom who could cook a delicious turkey came pouring out through my disappointed tears. But I’ll never forget the Christmas that I didn’t cook a turkey.
My husband loves this picture because he’s the only one looking at the camera!
Who Unwrapped the Christmas Gifts?
Then there was the year we left our dog Molly in the house while we went to my mother-in-law’s, a few doors down. We had left behind a beautiful array of gifts strewn about the floor from family.
My mom brought gifts for her sons-in-law (cupcakes and Twinkies), See’s Candies for my in-laws and dog toys for the dogs. While we were gone, Molly tore open all the gifts and ate all those cupcakes, Twinkies and See’s. Wrappers and all. She even celebrated Christmas and sniffed out her dog toys and unwrapped every single one.
Searching Garbage Cans!
Ever accidentally throw out your Christmas gifts? I have. My family did an ornament exchange where we bought a special ornament for everyone instead of gifts. Let me tell you, ornaments are pricey (especially Hallmark). And yes, there were tears as I went digging through garbage cans.
Isn’t the tree supposed to be green?
One year, a week after cutting down our tree, the branches were completely brown. Have you ever taken a dead Christmas tree through the door? Needles. Everywhere!
This would be the year we went to Home Depot and decorated a tree for the second time. As my hubby plugged in the strand of lights, the wire sparked and shorted out all our lights.