For the past three years I worked as a secretary in an office. Before that I’d spent almost a decade as a stay at home mother to my two daughters. I loved being home with my babies and watching them grow into adorable little girls. No matter what age they are, they’ll always be my little girls. Going back to work outside the home was a difficult but necessary responsibility and it served its purpose. The moment I was finally able to leave the office world and assume the life of a full-time writer, I regained something I’d been dearly missing: more time with my girls.
This holiday season is the first in three years where I don’t have to ask for permission to take time off to be with my girls. I can write when I don’t have them and savor the warmth and togetherness of the season when I do have them. That truly is the best Christmas gift ever and one I look forward to enjoying for years to come! They have two weeks off of school for Christmas and New Year’s this year and we’ll all be sleeping in, baking cookies and playing with toys until we pass out happily in our beds.
Monday I told Jaycie that we could put my little Christmas tree up but the evening proved too busy for that to happen. The next morning as Jaycie was getting ready to go out for the bus she said “We didn’t put the tree up.” That girl doesn’t miss a detail! I told her we’d fix that and out we went to get her on the bus.
As I’d completed my current writing assignments for the day, I decided I’d put the tree up before the girls came back home and surprise them. I bought my little fake tree many years ago, I believe it was before I even got married. If it were a human, it’d be of age to drive this year. It’s only 5 feet tall, isn’t lighted and all the branches have to be set in their little notches and fluffed out but it’s held up really well! I’ve become an expert at putting it up and spreading out the branches just right to fit into tight spaces like its current spot in my home. Once it’s assembled, I string the lights around it and plug it in. I usually put the star on right away too but I still haven’t dug that out of the basement. When I was all done, I was quite pleased with my work.
This weekend the girls and I will be decorating the tree with various homemade and Hallmark ornaments until it’s impossible to see any gaps in the branches. I know a fake tree isn’t for everyone but it works for me because it’s easy to put up, doesn’t drop needles all over the place and isn’t viewed as a water bowl by the cats. Last year was Jazzmin’s first Christmas with us and she didn’t quite know what to think of the lighted tree inside by her crate. This years she’s used to it and I like to think she enjoys its glow when she naps in her crate in the evening. There’s just something about my little tree and colored holiday lights strung around that warms my heart. It helps me appreciate a slower pace when so many other people are rushing around this time of year.