Monday, December 13, 2010

Decorating the Christmas Tree

When I was a kid, the day we put up our Christmas tree was one of the best days of the year.  It meant that Christmas was getting nearer.  The joy of decorating the tree was surpassed only by the excitement of seeing presents under it on Christmas morning.  My son seems to feel the same way.

Kai and I went to get our tree after school on Friday afternoon.  He was excited to go.  We went to our usual place and Kai picked out a nice tree.  I hadn’t intended to actually put it up that day, but since he was so eager, I got out all of the boxes of ornaments and lights and we went at it.

Or, I should say, Kai went at it.

While I was occupied with getting the tree in the stand and then with untangling the light strings, Kai opened every box and within minutes had every ornament and all of the colored light bulbs scattered across our family room floor. 

What a mess.  I had my way of doing things.  Now it would take me ten times as long to clean everything up afterward.  And, this is not how I go about decorating the tree.  And… “Kai, be careful!  These ornaments are breakable!” 

I was irritated. 

But, Kai listened, somewhat, to my admonishments to be careful.  And, I could see the excitement on his face.  “Are you ready for the lights, Daddy?”  “Can we put on the ornaments, Daddy?”

How could I possibly be irritated at a little boy who just wanted to look at all of the Christmas decorations and couldn’t wait to put them onto the tree?  That moment rekindled the special joy of the occasion that I felt so many years ago as a child. 

Yes, Kai, I am ready.  Which one do you want to put on first?

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