I have a really weird thing about Christmas trees.
Don’t get me wrong, I like them, but I hate decorating them. I am type-A and apoplectic and generally make it a miserable hideous trial instead of the joyful occasion it should be. I do my best to get out of it because for that time, I am The Tree Grinch.
It’s all because of my mother.
I love my mother. She was my sole parent growing up, with little bits of my brother’s dad here and there but even though I called him daddy from the fifth grade on (it was a conscious decision that I talked to my friends about and then mom and then him before I did. Overthinking overthinking wheeee) you could never say I had a father figure. But I digress, I was talking about my mom ruining a family custom that a lot of people love.
My mom is bi-polar, and, when I’m honest, has a very severe case of zero empathy. I’m sure I’ll go into more detail about that someday, but for now, trees. Trees, Amy, trees.
So we would get the tree out. And the huge boxes of ornaments falling apart. She had a pink and silver set and a red and gold set. She would decide which ones she wanted to put on, usually by how many glass baubles were left divided by what colors the intended room was in because mom is addicted to home interior and her hot glue gun.
Then we’d get the tree out and lay out all the branches in the color catagory of the branch tips, then put the tree together. Then she would either make me go back or go back herself and spend twenty minutes rearranging the branches to perfection.
Then the lights. Check them, then unwind them. Put them on the tree. Then redo it. Then make sure they’re all blinky or solid, and if not redo again. I realize it doesn’t sound that bad, it’s common sense, really, but it was a very serious thing.
Then the balls. They couldn’t be the same ones too close together. It usually took forty minutes to do that part. Then she’d get out the homemade ornaments my brother and I (then later the girls’ when we’d put up either her or my tree) and they had to be in certain places.
THEN the manger scenes. She had three of them, one clear glass with gold highlights, one painted ceramic, and one that was cloth (that one was always a kid favorite) and decide which one to put under the tree, one in the kitchen, and one on the coffee table. It changed depending on the decorations. By the way, I inherited two of those manger scenes 😀
While that doesn’t sound hideous, I know, imagine doing that every year. Every. Single. Year.
So this year, when I told the girls’ dad he could decorate the tree with the girls while I’m Christmas shopping tomorrow with mom (sigh…) he kinda laughed. “Yeah… that’ll probably be good.” Because he has witnessed, and often been the brunt of my bitchfits, poor guy.
Now, I’m not a total grouch. I love shopping. I adore cooking Christmas feasts for as many people as I can (last year it was ten people \o/) and I absolutely LOVE wrapping presents, even though I’m not very good at it.
I’m mostly just keeping my meds down and trying not to think about the hole in my heart, even though it is ragged and bleeding and will never stop. So I’m just focusing on the girls, and making sure they have a fantastic Christmas holiday.