Oh, Christmas Tree!

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I really have simplified Christmas this year, and it feels SO much better than last year, when I knew I needed to, but didn’t really know how, and had already gotten way into it before I realized how much it was draining me. After my teleseminar this past week on loosening the grip of shoulds, etc., it really seemed that I needed to walk my talk more than ever, and it is freeing up my energy greatly. There is still much to do, but this year, I’ve cut down my gift list (there were lots of gifts I was giving that I’m sure people appreciated, but that I felt were not really important to do, such as gifts to my great nieces and nephews, who hardly know me, and who get SO much stuff at Christmas, mine was just one more gift in an orgy of gifts). Also, instead of shopping for the Hamrick girls this year, we are giving them money (which is what teenagers seem to want most), and a special ornament to go in the angel ornament collection I started for each of them five years ago. Most of what shopping I’m going to do, I’ve done online. I’ve done a little less decorating, this year, and managed to get the kids to help us with carrying boxes up and down from the basement. That, in itself, made quite a difference in my energy.

You know—there’s just so much about Christmas I can’t buy into anymore—the materialistic part, the mistaken notions about how and where Jesus was born—heck, even the generally accepted idea of what he was all about—the whole concept of Christianity has been so perverted over the centuries. So, I feel less enthusiastic about a lot of the traditional symbols of Christmas. But the one thing I just won’t give up on is a fresh Christmas tree. I just LOVE my trees! I love everything about a Christmas tree—the fragrance, the lights, the ornaments—some sparkly, some less showy, but dear nonetheless, and, of course, the memories from all the years of collecting them. I love every phase of decorating it—and, of course, I have a specific order for each one! First, layering the ribbon garland, then the plain red glass balls, the gold rattan stars, the crocheted snowflakes, the special favorite ornaments front and center, the less favorites to the back, the needlepoint ones from Aunt Lee, then the crystal icicles, the silver bells, and filling in with the white ornaments wherever there’s a hole when you squint. Then, the crowning touch is the candy canes. Lots and lots.

Stepdaughters #3 and #4 were over today and I got a lot of teasing about how much stuff I was putting on the tree. “It’s not right till it’s waaaaaay over the top,” I told them. Not sure they bought that, but they did say it looked good! Their mom has decided to boycott Christmas and all the Christmas traditions this year and take them to the Bahamas —they told us she says she’s “given up on Christmas.” While I do understand how crazy the whole season is, and, after all, am making the effort to do less unnecessary stuff, I also know that the girls appreciate having a holiday atmosphere at our house, even if they think I’m a little eccentric with my over-the-top tree. My hope is that someday in the future, they’ll think of me at Christmastime with fondness and smile that I got so very, very into my Christmas trees! And someday, when I’m no longer on the planet and they have inherited all my ornaments, they’ll enjoy them just as much. Or…maybe they’ll sell them at a yard sale. Who knows?! I won’t care by then. But for now, I love to think that I’m making an impression on them of someone finding joy in a passionate pursuit and not caring if anyone else thinks it's too much!

Oh, and one more thing—I was looking for information on the history of Christmas trees today, and found this that I had never heard before. I thought it stunning:

"The Christmas tree tradition dates back to Western Germany in the 16th century. They were called "Paradeisbaum" (paradise trees) and were brought into homes to celebrate the annual Feast of Adam and Eve on DEC-24."

What do you know? Adam and Eve strike again!

Now, here's a look at Julia's extravaganza 2005. The closeup was prior to the candy canes going on. (And, as you can see, Roly and Lilah were helping in their own way. What you don't see is that Rick helped by taking a nap!)












Leslie said:

Holy tannenbaum!! What an awesome tree. You rock.

Julia said:

Why--thank you, Leslie! I'm happy you stopped by!
In Joy,

JANIS said:

I got your site from your notes on Notes from the Universe and I have GOTTEN MORE from your blog page than most sites!!! You have a deep well of living water and it is so refreshing to drink and drink. I found myself laughing at your comments about watching football and seeing yourself so free and evolved--just free from judgement! You just put into words what I have been unable to~~ it is not our behavior that decides who we are---purely our response inwardly to the outer world....thus, free from judgement settles our purest spiritual state! Hallelujah!....let freedom ring! Janis Rose in Boise Idaho

Julia said:

What a lovely note, Janis! It gives me encouragement to keep on blogging. Sometimes with all the other writing and stuff I do, I let the blogging slide, but it is wonderful to know that it's being read and appreciated!
From Boise, eh? I just may end up in Idaho before too long--I have several folks interested in sponsoring me to come there. Be sure you get on my mailing list for updates on that! I would love to meet you.
Love and Joy,

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on December 12, 2005 3:22 AM.

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