With every Christmas tree hunt an adventure always awaits. This year we had 7 kids in tow. Now I'm not sure why I just didn't insist on going to the nearby Boy Scout lot but everyone wanted to cut one down so I was outnumbered. Perish the thought for me to ruin 'the perfect family Christmas.'
Of course once we finally arrived all the girls got cold and suddenly the Pug dog dressed in a Santa outfit became much more interesting than tromping through the fields in search of the perfect tree.
And of course after driving miles into the country we arrived with only a debit card which they didn't take.
Of course we found out AFTER cutting the tree down and were therefore responsible for purchasing it.
Of course when I asked how much it was they quickly informed me it was 50.00.
Of course I said, "Very funny, now really how much is it?"
Of course they answered, "Fifty dollars" in a now slightly offended tone.
Of course we went BACK to town for cash.
Of course when we finally got home we had no water.
Of course I immediately assumed I forgot to pay the water bill.
Of course it was a broken pipe under the porch.
Of course the basement was flooding.
Of course the kids were starving.
Of course pizza delivery costs 50 million dollars for that many people.
But alas, memories were most definitely made. The tree is now decked out in all it's glory with ornaments from our childhood, including critters with missing eyes, ripped snowmen, holiday barbie ornaments lovingly signed by my grandmother and creepy pine cone art from the kids.
Those are the best kind of trees, the ones all piled with a mismatched array of baubles and chipped figurines. Each holds a story or a memory and it's important for them to be shared.
And while this family has a crud load of drama and confusion there is still a sense of togetherness in spite of us being a blended family. Now there are even more stories and memories to share because we have separate pasts but this makes it even more necessary to honor them. While we honor our pasts we are also establishing new traditions for our present and future.
We will always be in process but I think most families are, no matter how perfect and traditional they appear from the outside or how they portray themselves. Families can come in many different varieties but it doesn't make them any less meaningful or any less worthy of grace.