Back in the day, we took normal photos of our just-decorated Christmas tree,
but now we're all about the blur-on-purpose.
Christmas at my house has changed a lot in the past couple decades.
Take for example, our traditions around decorating the tree.
This used to be an all-day extravaganza that began with a morning tree-hunt, featured an afternoon intermission in which I put everyone down for naps while my husband wrestled the tree into its stand and lights, then an evening finale in which all six of us chaotically decorated the tree, ate a ritual pizza dinner, and then drank cups of hot cocoa around our lovely finished masterpiece before bed.
That was a lot. I find myself exhausted just thinking about it.
Nowadays, my twenty-something daughters are way chill about the process and we have been able to let go of some of those old, rigid traditions.
We're good with fetching the tree home from the farm and then letting it sit in the garage for a day or two before lugging it into the house to decorate. Gives the spiders more time to crawl away.
My husband has been relieved of his wrestling duties; our fourth-born has infinitely more time and patience for that tedious project and, other than a few times when an extra pair of hands from me when necessary, she likes to single-handedly take on everyone's least favorite part of the job.
Ceremonial pizza dinners are nice but no longer mandatory. Tonight, my homemade macaroni and cheese casserole got the job done very well.
The process of tree decorating involves far less squealing, running, and flinging of tissue paper. I'm not entirely sure that is a good thing. But we do have time to tell each other the old stories behind the ornaments and to breathe, so that's a nice trade-off.
When the next generation of babies rolls in, I'm sure our family tree-trimming traditions will change again, and a more regimented process will likely be reinstated. For now, I must say that I am enjoying the freedom to let our holiday moments drift in whatever direction feels right in the moment.
However, hot cocoa at the end of the evening is still mandatory. Some traditions, it seems, are sacred.