Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Pretty Good Tree Putter Upper

A single uttered word melted away years of feeling inadequate about my Christmas decorating abilities.

As usual I spent the weekend after Thanksgiving not shopping, but decorating for Christmas. Hubs had pulled the huge box that holds our fake tree down from the attic and it waited for me in the garage.

The yellow string that held the box closed was tied too tightly and I gave up untangling it and managed to slowly push and pull it the length of the box. Looking inside at the piled up branches I considered closing the box up again. They are heavy and dusty and make my hands feel awful. Hubs is at work and like most years if we are going to have a tree it will have to be erected by me.

I close the box and go back in the house. I don't really need to do this today. Could always put up a little table tree this year since I am busier than usual. Needing some music I click on Pandora and scroll to the Christmas Music section. Opening the linen closet I grab an old sheet (well they are all old) and spread it out on the family room floor near the corner I have cleared for the tree. I drag the long box from the garage to the family room.

An hour later the branches are sorted on the sheet and the bottom half is in place ready for the other three layers to be added. Humming about a little drummer boy, I struggle to add the branches and connect the lights that are supposedly built-in and "simple to set up". The dark sections require another set of lights after I search the house for the right extension cord.

Next comes the big blue tub full of ornaments. The step ladder helps me start at the top with the littlest decorations and a dust rag to wipe off the stored gold balls. At this point I am remembering the fun tree decorating nights we used to have with the boys. We made hot chocolate, watched Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer while choosing which ornaments go where.

I'm wishing I could do this faster and be done, but cannot make myself do it without care. I just can't. I am decorating less and less every year. The boxes are still full of trinkets, ribbons, greenery and ceramic churches that light up. Not sure why I should be giving myself more work to do in an already busy time of year.

But out come the favorite nativity scenes and the stockings sewn by my mom for each of us. The new string of lights that are battery operated are added to the door wreath and it makes me smile as I step out onto the driveway to see how it looks.

Then two days later my two year old grandson enters the house and walks all the way down the entry way with his eyes huge and finger pointed at the tree at the other end of the house. He goes right up to the Christmas tree and breathes out "Whoa!!" as if it is the grandest thing he's ever seen. My son and I are behind him and I say, "OK that makes it all worth it."

I get on my knees next to Grandson in front of the tree and we have a little talk about looking with our eyes and not our hands. He is still transfixed and nods in agreement.

And I feel like Super Woman. Or at least a pretty good tree putter upper.


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  1. Oh Susie! YES!!! You are Super Woman! And Max isn't the only one who thinks so!!! Your tree is beautiful...and even if it wasn't so perfect (and it really is perfect), but even if it wasn't, your grandson would be SO excited because this is Grandma and Grandpa's tree! And he will remember this long after you are gone on to heaven some day...and have such happy memories of Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa! You are so blessed to have your grandson nearby and to see the love shining in his eyes. Treasure these moments! Make every excuse to celebrate with him. They grow up way too soon. You are blessed. Superwoman! Whoa!!!!

  2. I commend you for your well-done job. Max's comment should stay with you for quite a while. You have been blessed to have a grandson. I trust you enjoyed your time with him and his parents over the Christmas weekend. I caught the upper respiratory 'bug' on Thanksgiving and it really didn't leave me until right before Christmas. But I did set up my table tree: I hadn't done it for a few years. So, it was nice to have it up.


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