So, we put up our Christmas tree tonight, and I'm really trying to maintain a positive attitude about it, for the girls's sake, etc., but ugh. I hate it. It's such a stupid, paltry, chintzy looking little thing. It's a total Charlie Brown Christmas tree. When we moved, I took the smaller of our two artificial trees, because I don't have space for the big one. This one is short, and sparse, and fake-looking, and really really ugly.
And the ornaments! Where are my ornaments? Can't have breakables (Tank, cat) so we settled for a bag of wooden and plastic non-breakables. There are, not kidding, maybe twenty ornaments on the whole tree. And they're cheap and ugly (well, not the ones from my childhood, which are cheap and ugly but with sentimental value). In all my twenty-eight years, this is, without a doubt, the worst Christmas tree ever. And I let the girls hang the ornaments, which means they're all clustered around the bottom, which just chafes my soul.
And then they'll go to their dad's (grandma's) house, and they have two trees, and they're big and bright. And while everything on those two trees is undoubtedly cheaper and uglier and plastic-er than the things on my tree, when you're four, you only notice that it's big and shiny, not that it's decorated in poor taste. So they'll come home and see our pathetic little reject tree and be disappointed that ours isn't better.
But they haven't figured that out yet. Tonight, they are in awe. They love it. They think it's the most amazing thing ever. They have hung stockings and put out our few miserable decorations, and they think it is all perfectly lovely. The Bear, tonight, said "this house *is* Christmas," and they both wanted to turn out the lights and just stare at it. They can't tell how pathetic it is, and I'm grateful for that. All too soon, they'll realize how shoddy it is, compared to others'. My own childhood memories include a ten-foot tree that brushed the top of our ceiling, boxes and boxes of ornaments, each with a story attached, that we had to climb ladders to hang. Whatever. In the true spirit of things, I'm trying to teach the girls to appreciate the things they have, and to find beauty in the small, often overlooked things. But when I think of what they could be having, and what they're missing, it breaks my heart a little bit.