Making the best of things
I always would take my family to pick out a real Christmas tree. That is, until a few years ago. I noticed when Emma was 3 that I was having the most difficult time breathing in the house. I always figured it was seasonal stuffiness that just happened to be right around the time we put our tree up. I would take a couple of Benadryl and would sleepily continue my night. I began to notice this pattern and fought the idea of getting a fake tree. When the nightly Benadryl lost its effectiveness, I realized it was time.
With having little money, I ended up borrowing a fake tree from my awesome Mom. It broke my heart a little more with each step-by-step instruction on assembling the wire pieces. With a small tear I turned on some Bing Crosby Christmas and continued.
How would my kids take it, decorating a synthetic tree with lack of the ever so strong smell of pine and the stickiness of the sap on their fingertips?
I worked steadily through the afternoon to make sure each wire branch was in the perfect spot.
After picking the kids up from school, I told them that I had a surprise. It was only a five minute drive home, but they managed to ask the 21 questions that kids love to ask.
As we pulled in the driveway, they unbuckled and positioned themselves for the dash to the door ... "and they're off."
The door swung open and there it was! By the time I saw their reaction, they had their heads twisted sideways in wonder. I could tell that they were not pleased. I explained the change in our tree tradition and my allergy. Emma wrapped her arms around me and Daniel patted my back and assured me that the tree standing before them was the best one they ever had.
We proceeded to decorate the plastic covered branches with ornaments while listening to Christmas tunes.
I realized then that its not what you have, but what you do with what you have that matters. As we approach this pandemic stricken holiday season, remember this story and know that it doesnt matter what your Christmas may look like this year. It is the time spent with family and the small things that make the best memories.
Melinda Black, Morganton
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!