12-23-column for paper


Since I have not been putting these up these past weeks, I thought I would do this weeks, as I am in no real mood to write this morning.

I have always dreamed of being able to buy my kids the best things for Christmas.  In the corner stands a perfect tree, decorated to the hilt with lights, tinsel, brightly colored ornaments and everything else that a Christmas tree should have.  If I could I would like to have a room filled with neatly wrapped presents with ribbons and bows and gift bags filled to overflowing.  And to see the look on the children’s eyes when they viewed such a wonder, well, it transcends description.
It’s four days before Christmas, and my tree is up, the ornaments adorn the branches while light twinkles behind them. I have had to pull my cat out of the garland a few times already and when I come home at night, I have to replace the ornaments she has knocked off of the lower branches.  This is the first year I have put the tree up right after Thanksgiving at the insistence of my children. We spent a fun afternoon tangled in lights, digging through boxes, and covering every inch of the living room with various colors.
I, like many other people, will remember the day we  put up the tree much more fondly than the day the kids tear into the painstakingly neatly wrapped gifts.  This year that time spent in unwrapping will be short, only a few moments.  There will not be much under the tree this year, it won’t be bare, but it will not be what I had intended.
Luckily, my kids already know this, and realize how things are.  They have learned that things really are difficult for everyone, and they have friends that are in the same state.  Its amazing to how adult they can be at times.  They don’t demand, they may ask, but when you tell them not this time or this year, they say okay.
Christmas can be difficult, we want that dream of a perfect Christmas.  The tree with all of the trimmings shining in the corner of the room. The smell of a perfect Christmas dinner drifting through the house.  The multitude of presents that overflow from beneath the tree.  It is not going to happen this year in my house, and that brings a tear to my eye.   But then my stubbornness kicks in, my chin rises, and I start planning for next year.

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