Christmas tree

It’s Experiences that Matter. One Memory I’ll Treasure for a Long Time to Come.

It's Experiences that Matter. One Memory I'll Treasure for a Long Time to Come.
John sawing down our tree!

The holiday decorations were up and I had spruce essential oil burning in the diffuser as John and I played Yahtzee last night.

As we played I said, “Did you smell the scent of Christmas tree when you came in tonight?”

“No,” he said.

“Really?” I found that odd.

For a moment I got lost in my own little world thinking about how I missed the smell of a real Christmas tree. When we first got married we had a real tree the first few years, then went to an artificial one. For quite a few years, and I’ve lost track, we didn’t have one at all, and I actually got rid of the one we had, lights and all, plus the tree stand.

I noticed John was looking into the living room as he said, “I was thinking we should get a real tree this year.”

Tears instantly flooded my eyes and I said, “Really? I was thinking the same thing too!”

Then I realized something. “But we don’t have any lights or a tree stand. I got rid of everything quite a few years ago.”

Grinning he said, “Well, then, we will just have to pick that up too.”

I jumped up and hugged him so tight. He said, “We can go tomorrow and cut a tree down.”

Well, now I was really crying! Tears of joy! We’d never done that before and I was like a little girl on Christmas Eve anticipating the arrival of Santa, but instead, excited about the adventure we would have getting our tree instead.

So here’s the thing. John is a great guy. I’m one lucky lady and couldn’t have asked for a better partner to share my life. But I’d kind of given up for a long time talking about a real tree. It always seemed a hassle to bring it up. You know how life can get in the way if you let it sometimes?

But in those moments all I could think of was how much I loved him. It’s experiencing life that matters and what is so precious. The older I get the more those experiences become that more special.

And so today we set off to a tree farm to get our tree. It was the best. day. ever.  Riding in the wagon, down the path past rows and rows of beautiful trees, the wind blowing in our faces, breathing in the fresh air, well, all I can say is I was one happy girl.

The wagon dropped us off and down the rows we went. I spotted one and said, “This one! He is so beautiful! This is the one I want!”

John said, “Well, let’s just walk a little further yet.”

And a little further, I saw another one, “This one! This is the one I want! Isn’t he beautiful?”

But yet John said we should keep looking.

And we walked some more until I said, “Nope, that last one. That’s the one I want.” So back we went.

Our tree! Oh, how I love our tree! Isn’t he sweet?

I wanted it to all go in slow motion and capture every single detail. While I don’t know if we will have a real tree next year, or after that, or what the future holds, the fact is the memory of how this all unfolded to having a real tree this year is one I’ll treasure for a very long time to come.

I look in my living room this afternoon as night approaches and the tree is half lit. Yup. Didn’t get enough lights, so back to the store  tomorrow…but that tree just makes me so happy because of how it all came to be. It is one loved tree.

And I thank my lucky stars for this gift that will be in my heart always.

My Unconventional Christmas Tree Speaks to Me

2013-12-08 17.00.31 cI haven’t had a “normal” Christmas tree for a few years now.

Years ago I remember visiting a friends home during the holiday who lived by what I call her own heart strings.  On her piano she had a large vase that contained branches that had fallen from tree’s outside her home.  She hung her Christmas ornaments on the branches and strung a string of lights. I loved that tree.

It took me a few years to break away from the tradition of a pine tree. Back then I’d worry, “What would people think if I had a branch tree?” But now that I live by my own heart strings, I do what makes me happy. I took my friends idea and use it as my own now. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

It also always makes me think of her every Christmas. She moved away years ago and this time of year always has me wondering how she is doing.

I love my tree because it brings the indoors in. It also reminds me of how nature inspires me. How it reminds me of all that we have is this moment. Right here, right now.

My tree stays up all year. Once Christmas is done, I’ll re-decorate it for the winter, then spring, summer and fall.

My unconventional Christmas tree is my reminder to continue to be me. Oh special Christmas tree, how I love thee!

My Unconventional Christmas Tree. Unconventional Me.

Inspired by my dear friend, who I lovingly refer to as “Sistah V” (I am “Sistah B”), this is my unconventional Christmas tree. I didn’t feel like hauling up the fake tree from downstairs and would have preferred a real one.  But instead, I thought about Sistah V’s branch tree she does every year.  Her  holiday branch tree then turns into a Valentine tree, then Easter, then spring/summer/fall which is decorated with tiny birdhouses.

I like my unconventional tree. It made me think about my aha moment this week in the Artist’s Way workshop I’ve been taking for the past ten weeks. Well, it’s not as if this is a new revelation. But I felt myself sink deeper into my own skin of who I am. I realized once again, on an even deeper level, with a new light shining upon it, that I enjoy living an unconventional life.

At times I lose my way and as much as I think it would feel better to just go back to the way I lived before, I know I can’t. Well, I could. But I don’t want to. I’ve created boundaries so I can do more of what makes my heart sing.  I don’t always go with the flow of society with my choices either. This has caused fear in me from time to time. But I don’t want to let that fear swallow me. While I realize it is normal to feel fear, it also helps me see that I have a choice every time that feeling arises. I’ve become better each time at just sitting through the feeling, allowing it to move through me.

And no matter how we choose to live our lives, conventional or unconventional, fear is always going to be a part of it.  But fear of not living fully into who I am or not following my heart is far scarier to me than dealing with a fear that may never even happen.

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. -K.T. Jong