We just got our Christmas tree up. I know, I know - it is only 12 days until Christmas, and I probably wouldn't have put one up... but the kids. I had no idea how bad nagging could get until now.
Every day this week after school, my children would clammer, "Are we going to put the tree up today? Can we put on the ornaments too? When are the outside decorations being put up?" Now, before you start lobbing your accusations and finger-wagging at me, I want to say in my defense that we will not be home for Christmas. We will be visiting my mother, so I haven't been highly motivated to decorate our home.
I never said NO to the children. I always pushed the date off until this weekend. I used the "Daddy has to help us" excuse. Frankly, I was hoping they would run out of steam by then, but of course, they did not.
Please, don't misunderstand - I LOVE Christmas. I would have Christmas songs playing all year if I could. In fact, last year we had one particular piece of decoration up for 5 months after Christmas. But, when I've missed the weekend after Thanksgiving to put up the decorations, I begin to feel like there isn't much point to all the work. It is only
5 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 weeks, 2 weeks until Christmas! By the time I put everything up I'll have to take it down again. Cheerful thought, huh?
But, as I said my children are persistent, so we put the Christmas tree up. I have to say that I'm so glad my kids kept on me. Every year the experience of Christmas with my children is different. As they grow older, they are learning to appreciate and generate excitement for all things Christmas. Today, what began as a reluctant job turned into a joyful activity with my kids who were "oohing" and "aahing" over the ornaments and tree.
I put my laptop next to the "staging area", and I put The Ray Conniff Singers album on an infinite loop. This was the album from my childhood that we would always decorate to.
Thank you, Mom for that excellent tradition.
Once the Christmas tree was up and most of the ornaments on, it was time to put the topper on. My children picked out the topper last year when they were 5 and 3, so I was surprised they remembered it. LittleMan picked it out of the box and announced that it was time to put it on. Usually I reserve the topper for the end after the tree has been completely decorated, but the kids were so delighted in finding it, I figured, "Why not?!"
As I placed the topper on the tree and stepped back, LittleMan said, "God, thank you for the topper and the tree. Amen."
I was almost speechless from shock that my son said a prayer, but habit kicked in and I repeated, "Amen." BoopaLoop said it too.
Me: "That's a great idea! We should do a prayer after we put the tree topper on."
LittleMan: Looking at me
Me: "Would you mind doing another prayer?"
LittleMan: Bowing his head and folding his hands, "Please keep the topper on the tree. Amen."
Me and BoopaLoop: "Amen."
Thank you, LittleMan, for that excellent new Christmas tradition... and thank you, Lord, for blessing me with such awesome kids.