Saturday, November 24, 2007

G for Grinch

I think I stole Christmas yesterday. The beginning of Christmas anyway. It is our tradition to decorate the house for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, so the day began with boxes being pulled out of storage. Already I had a blasting headache because it has been some time since I've been to see Dr. Quack about adjusting my jaw. Anyway, headache aside, the boxes were set out , and the children naturally wanted to dive in. Being the control freak I am, I wanted everything done in an orderly fashion--no ripping things out of boxes or randomly pulling ornaments out.

As I sorted through the ornaments, I realized just how many we have. We normally have two trees: one is for me to decorate, the other for the kids. During the sorting, I had visions of last year's Charlie Brown tree, the one laden with far too many ornaments, none of which were evenly distributed. I sent the man of the house out to get another tree, one to replace the Charlie Brown tree so the Charlie Brown tree could go upstairs. Yes, I know there are people around the world who don't even get to enjoy one tree. And, yes, I realize I don't need three Christmas trees in my house. But on a day when I was feeling grumpy and grinchy, I really did want a third Christmas tree. So I got a third Christmas tree.

And the tree decorating process was underway. In an orderly fashion. And that's when Alex broke Jacob's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. I began to scold and lecture about carelessness and sentimentality. As I ranted and raved my first born stared at me like I was the craziest thing since silly putty. "You understand now why I'm upset, right?" I asked her the rhetorical question. I continued by explaining to her that it's not the fact that she broke the ornament that's upsetting because an ornament can be replaced.

"Then why don't you buy another one?" she asks.

"Because this one says '2002' on it, that's why!"


"It's 2007!!"

"Oh. Sorry, Mom." Then she didn't actually shrug her shoulders, but I knew she was shrugging on the inside. And she skipped merrily off to Lala Land, which is where I wish I were sometimes. In Lala Land. Where the Grinchies can't get you. I know she doesn't understand sentimentality yet. And I don't expect her to. And what I should be doing instead of worrying about numbers on an ornament is treasuring the special moments we can have as a family doing something together. I should treasure the way that Charlie Brown tree looks with its many handcrafted ornaments. I should treasure the excitement in the children's eyes as they bring light and color to each room.

I should more often file daily moments under S for sentimental instead of G for Grinch.

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