Let’s just say that I’m happy the holidays are over. I’m sure many of you have stories to share…and so do I.
Why do we put pressure on ourselves to create the perfect holiday season? I have three children – ages 17, 15 & 12 – and for some reason, they weren’t excited about the holidays this year and neither was I. I’m sure it was a combination of things. The kids are getting older, they have bigger “wants”, we weren’t having family in town this year, etc.
The day came when it was time to drive out to Babbitt Ranches and cut down our Christmas tree. The only kiddo who was around and willing to accompany me was my 12 year old daughter. We narrowed our search to two beautiful trees and she picked the one she wanted. We cut it down, threw it in the truck and headed home.
My sister-in-law assisted in getting the tree into our house and securely in the tree stand. Little did we realize in the woods, that we had chosen a tree that was 9’ tall. It fit well in the designated spot and we were excited about getting it decorated (or was just I excited about getting the task done).
My 17 year old arrived home from work that evening and agreed to help me string the lights on the tree. We were going to wait to decorate the tree until after my 15 year old arrived home from a weekend ski trip. It still wasn’t feeling like the holiday season though as we were all scattered and busy with other things; however, we strung the tree lights, then my 17 year old headed out with friends.
As 8 o’clock rolled around, my youngest was in the shower getting ready for bed and I was in the kitchen wrapping up dinner. I heard a noise and then a crash and yes, you guessed it, the tree was down! There was water everywhere, lights everywhere and pinon pitch all over the rug. At this point, I tried to lift this gigantic tree up. My youngest couldn’t hear me yelling. It was a mess. My 12 year old finally heard me yelling for help and came down to assist, but at this point, my holiday breakdown was in full swing. I had unscrewed the tree stand and was trying to drag this giant tree outside in the back yard.
About this time, my 17 year old was arriving home to find her mother in tears and her sister trying to help me do something with this tree that weighted more than they could handle. “I’m cancelling Christmas” I cried. “None of you care, none of you even wanted to get a tree, so why should I care?” The meltdown continued. Not too long after that, my 15 year old was delivered home by friends who walked in on the hot mess that was happening in our living room. They quickly dropped my son and left not knowing what to do in that very uncomfortable situation.
About 15 minutes later, around 9 pm, these friends returned. Out of guilt or feeling sorry for me, I’m not sure, but they helped us secure the tree and get it standing again in hopes that it wouldn’t topple once more. By the next evening, the kids and I had the guts to string the lights and by the second night of the tree still standing, we decided to decorate it.
My holiday breakdown ended up being filled with joy. Joy from family and friends that helped me navigate a situation that I couldn’t handle myself. As a single mother, it’s hard to do it alone. It’s hard to be alone. Perhaps I was feeling lonely and wasn’t feeling the excitement of the holiday season, but thanks to incredible people in my life, my holiday breakdown quickly ended. Happy 2016!