Holiday preparations are in full force in our Little Castle by the Sea…well Sea World at least. From decorating, to gift wrapping, celebrating the birthdays of Mr. R and Princess A, to managing the logistics of the complimentary House of R Airport Shuttle Service (HoRASS) via the Nissan Quest, things are about to get crazy…crazy exciting!
I have not been so excited about Christmas in a long long time! Preparations have not been smooth thus far, but somehow that has only added to the magic.
Last Wednesday Mr. R was stuck up at the hospital for testing until nearly ten o clock at night and with the kids down at eight that gave me a gap of two hours to fill. I thought of all the upcoming festivities and decided it was time to bite the bullet and finally put up our old tree. Seeking it out in the garage was like trying to seek out the body parts after a chain saw massacre. Our old tree’s pieces were unboxed and tossed amongst the post move rubble. One by one I dragged each piece in and I began to build. Then when I plugged it in the lights no longer worked in some sections no matter how I arranged the plugs. And now with a light shining on the ground I noticed the small black specks that resembled rat pellets scattered along my ceramic tile, and a pungent odor made my nose wriggle in disgust. There was no doubt about it, it was time for this old tree to go.
At first it was not difficult emotionally to drag the tree back out to the garbage, I couldn’t eject it from our home faster. It was however difficult to bring myself to even touch the disgusting thing to dispose of it.
Once all was swept, mopped, and sanitized, I found myself sitting alone in an empty space reflecting on the five year journey that tree had made, and the meaning it held to our small family.
When Mr. R and I moved to Houston in 2012 we were both out of work and I was 9 mos. pregnant. We praised God for the wonders that were Medicaid and the government that provided just enough to scrape by on our rent and eliminate those pesky hospital bills. Misfortune seemed to fall all around us, unexpected lawyer costs for a custody battle that never seemed to end, false promises of a young son to share the season with, an unexpected ticket of an insurmountable sum, and a sea of family that seemed to feel the need to voice their volatile opinions of our relationship and choices made for our small growing family from every angle.
It was the first week of December and the Christmas Spirit was already smothered out in our home that seemed so baron and sad. We scraped together some cash and change, may have even phoned a friend, I don’t really know how the Lord provided us with the funds that year, but we decided to use the spare change for a Christmas Tree.
I lived in retail, I saw every store and all its inventory for every season. I knew that if I ever hit a point that I wanted to invest in Christmas decor someday for a family Sears was where I wanted to go. We were picky about our choice, after all this was quite the investment. It didn’t take long to spot it, a slim tree with light cypress springs poking past the crowded dark green branches priced at half off.
Of course when we arrived for pick up there was a slight “mix up” and we ended up with the wider based version of my cypress blended tree. A mix up that came as a relief to Mr. R, but the disappointment took a bit longer for me to overcome.
We built the tree as we received news that yet again a false promise would not be followed through, and Little B would not be allowed to join us this holiday season. That would be six months since Mr. R was able to see his son, and he opened a beer or two while struggling to place some stringed lights on the bushes. It was a night of rock bottom as we stared up at the green and blue rays cascading from our peacock color scheme. The warm aura of the tree somehow made everything okay, and just like a peacock we took the toxicity of our surroundings and created something radiant.
We sat content most of the night silently listening to carols playing out on Spotify, gazing up at our tree. This moment of silence is one of my favorite memories.
Through the years Christmases have only grown brighter with cheer, our family has gone from just us 2 to 5, and this old tree has continued to grow in our hearts with love.
It was a good tree, a special tree and it is sad to let go of something that served as a special reminder to just how much we have to be thankful for. But don’t be mistaken, I’m incredibly excited for a the new tree with its new incredible chapters to write.