Christmas is All in the Heart

I’ve been seriously grumpy all day because I wanted a real tree this year, but in an attempt to save a little money, we decided to put up our old fake tree instead. I have been a little bratty and argumentative with Dave, all because it was his idea to just put up our fake tree.

It’s not just any fake tree. This tree was $15 full price. It’s a pre-lit tree with half the bulbs burned out, it’s shorter than Dave, it doesn’t stand up on its own, and you can see all the way through it even when it’s covered in lights and ornaments and garland. It’s a very sad, pathetic little wisp of a tree. It doesn’t have the charm of a Charlie Brown tree. It’s just plain awful.

We bought it five years ago. Dave was working 100 hour weeks for free, I had a job that was sucking the life out of me and not even covering our bills, we had no friends, and no family closer than 8 hours away. It was a really really hard year in every way – financially, relationally, emotionally. Good riddance 2007.

During the Christmas season of that year, every time I heard the song, “Christmas is All in the Heart,” by Steven Curtis Chapman, I lost all control of my emotions. The lyrics to the first verse are, “In a one bedroom apartment on the humble side of town
There stands a little Christmas tree, looks a lot like Charlie Brown’s,
And underneath there’s one little gift for him and one little gift for her.
After six months on the new job, they’re still barely getting by,
So in the way of decorations, there’s nothing there to catch your eye
But both of them would be the first to say
We’re together, we’re gonna have the merriest Christmas anyway.”

I mean, come on. Wouldn’t that make you cry if you were having the year we were having? And everything made you cry anyway?

This evening when I was holding up our sad little tree from 2005 with one hand while Dave tried to figure out a way to make it stand up, that song came on from my Christmas playlist and I lost it. I was hysterical. I was crying because I was a grump all day and I hate it when I know I’m being immature but can’t change my mood. And also because I really do hate this tree, because it reminded me of how awful that year was, and because I was thinking about how much our lives have changed and gotten so. much. better since then. It was a very sudden wave of emotion. Oh the looks I got from Dave and Christina (both non-emotional people who care very little about Christmas).

I tried explaining why I was crying but it just made me start laughing. And laughing while you’re crying usually turns into a weird hysterical laugh/cry weirdness. So I’m blogging about it because that’s easier for me. And because I wanted to tell you that I really love my life right now and the past seven years with Dave have grown me up so much and I am so glad of that. And because Christmas is the best. Even when I’m being childish about something. And even if my Christmas tree is really ugly.

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