The Fallen Christmas Tree

It’s the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving. My heart is full of gratitude and cheer bringing home a perfect Christmas tree. The top is perfectly straight, and its branches are full.

Bare tree

My “perfect” Christmas tree begins to tilt further and further to the right. The knobs on the trunk and weight of the tree are tipping the stand, making it lopsided. I suggest to my father we cut off the knobs, so the trunk can be screwed in tightly. I also suggest placing a weight on the stand to keep it from tipping. He assures me it’s screwed in tightly, but I know he simply doesn’t want to fuss with it anymore.

ChristmasTree3

My mother and I proceed to decorate with LED lights, Hallmark ornaments, and handmade bulbs. Decorating the Christmas tree is a time to connect and reminisce. Each ornament represents family history, childhood interests, and momentous occasions. After decorating, we call my father back in to place on the topper. Later, we head to bed, happy with our Christmas tree that shines brightly.

roy-lichtenstein-knock-knock

A loud “knock knock” hits my door. The time is 7:22 am on Sunday morning. I am trying to ignore it until I hear, “Brooke can you wake up and help us clean up the tree. It fell over.” I frantically jump out of bed and brace myself for the disaster!

I begin to help my mom take off the ornaments while my dad holds the tree up. At this moment I could say, “I told you so” or “only if you (dad)…” but what good will that do?

lights

I strip off and detangle the lights, and I begin to think about the fallen Christmas tree as an opportunity to spend more time with my parents and improve the look of the tree’s decorations! The first time was just practice. 🙂

Ornaments

ChristmasTree2

I may be biased or hopelessly optimistic, but the take 2 decorated tree is much better. The lights aren’t tangled, it no longer tilts to the right, and the ornaments are placed more strategically. I share my fallen Christmas tree story to remind you of a few things…

  • Embrace the process.
  • Preparing for Christmas isn’t easy or perfect for anyone, no matter what their Instagram profile or story shows.
  • Being right or saying, “I told you so” does not fix past mistakes or help current situations.
  • Don’t blame others.
  • Short cuts (like not trimming off knobs or placing a weight on the tree stand) result in more work.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes.
  • Cherish moments more than outcomes.
  • Without a firm foundation things will eventually fall. 

Fallen Christmas Tree

The Lesson

The fallen Christmas tree taught me to be patient and cherish every moment. It also showed me how I have matured in college. Even 2 years ago, I would have responded begrudgingly and placed blame on anyone but myself. Thankfully my family’s tree is still standing 4 days later thanks to a trunk with no knobs and base weighted down.

2 thoughts on “The Fallen Christmas Tree

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