It was that time of the year again.
The kids were at me, the wife demanding, the pressure building, shopping to be done and it seemed everything and everyone was demanding something of me and my resolve was fading by the minute.
The tree the kids called to me. Get it out. We want to put it up.
So I crawled into the attic, brushed away the spider webs and dragged out the boxed tree.
I felt the resentment of having so much put upon me. I didn’t feel Christmas was in any way a joyous occasion.
Once the tree was out, laid out on the lounge room floor, the kids set to work. Then the arguments started.
One wanted this decoration, here, another wanted it there, the pulling and pushing began.
Where was the fun in this I asked myself as I separated the warring sides?
My youngest was pushed aside and sat on the floor holding a blue bauble, awaiting her turn to place it on the tree but had decided retreat for the moment was the best option.
This was torture I heard myself say.
Stop I said. Lets remember what we are doing and why.
It’s supposed to be fun. A shared time. Peace and goodwill to all men not war and dislike.
The kids stopped, their initial reaction was to voice their opinions. None of which were in agreement with the other.
I suggested we stop and each take a turn, look at how the tree looked, suggest change if needed, more importantly have fun doing what we love to do.
It worked; we got it all up and going, lights and all.
Then the excitement of the gifts appearing, the wonder of what might be inside, the inner glow I felt when I noticed one of the biggest gifts was addressed to me.
That sense of expectation, wonder, joy came back to me.
The kids excitement growing daily, their creating their own cards for each other, helping our smallest, watching as Mother and eldest mixed the pudding and hung it in the shed, checking the fridge for the custard, hanging the decorations and remembering to get out Nanna’s lolly tree.
What a great time.