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It Only Took Three Years...

Updated: Mar 26

I've been attempting to create holiday wonder in my home this year. I'd failed miserably over the last few years and have been working feverishly to bring the magic back. One tree was the key. I knew what had to be done. Yesterday, it finally happened.


For the last three years, I'd slowly become a Grinch or maybe a Scrooge. Either way, it wasn't festive. I'd gone back to retail management and the 60+ hour weeks were sucking the life out of me. I'd lost my holiday mojo. I'd frantically put the necessary decor out at the last minute just to keep from completely losing Christmas. The stockings would be hung on a mantle decorated with garland, wreaths on the doors, a nativity on the buffet, and the main tree would go up. That was about the extent of it besides the small tree I kept up all year, which I rarely plugged in. The first couple of years I managed to light up the main tree, but never found the time to decorate it with my family. Our schedules (mainly mine) did not grant us the time to pull out all of the ornaments from the past and place them on the tree. The third year, I didn't even light the tree. It just sat there, naked.


Those who know me well knew something was wrong. I wasn't myself. I was irritable, less patient, and complained about the holidays more than I enjoyed them. I was sinking into a "bah humbug" existence, and it was NOT pretty. I felt intense guilt for not having the gumption to decorate, and it wore me out emotionally. That just intensified my physical exhaustion. My fam jam became frustrated as well, and the wonder was gone. I'd often heard the woman is the heart of the home. Because my heart wasn't in it, neither was hub's or my sons'. It stunk to high heavens. But then God stepped in.


He changed my career path and gave me my mojo back. I once again had a burning desire to do the things necessary to evoke feelings of nostalgia and joy. I started early! I got a bit of poking from the fam jam, but it was done with a smile. I was back, and they knew it. Boys that once told me not to put any decorations upstairs because they they didn't care, now expressed that they wouldn't mind if I did. (that will be taken care of today, btw) I heard no complaints for playing Christmas music all day long. In fact, hub requested it in the car the other day. Wassail was warm on the stove and smells of cinnamon and spice filled the air.

Because I welcomed Christmas back into my home, it was getting into our hearts.


The family tree, as I like to call it, was lit and adorned with ornaments yesterday. We laughed and shared stories brought back by little baseball players, flamingos, and national monuments. We hung sport symbols from Auburn, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Kentucky, the Patriots and the Saints next to Batman, Donald Duck and fleur de lis. We reminisced about trips to Calloway Gardens, Washington DC, 30A and Orlando. There was more laughter within the walls of our home than I've heard in quite some time. It was wonderful! This tree would never grace the pages of a magazine, but it's the most important one in the house. After three years of "bah humbug", it brought back the childhood-like magic of Christmas.


Do you have a family tree? What are some of your favorite ornaments? Share at bethroperstewart.com We're all weirdly wonderful, so you'll fit right in when you subscribe!


p.s. If you think all is perfect in my world, think again. I just sat in a dew-filled cushion and have wet bottom now. The difference is instead of getting angry, I laughed at myself. Merry Christmas!


The Family Tree. Christmas wonder is alive and well.

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