Growing up our household had two Christmas trees. One was in our front room and was strictly decorated by my Mom. It held the most beautiful decorations, perfectly colour coordinated and surely the envy of everyone who drove by our front window. Underneath were delicately wrapped gifts for our family and friends in matching paper (of course), a true magazine worthy specimen.
My mom’s glamorous Christmas tree
The second one was in our basement and my brother and I were responsible for the decorations. These decorations were colourful, non matching and well…. tacky. Red, blue and green balls, homemade crafts and school projects hung in an uncoordinated manner. More often than not one side of the tree had too many things and the other was a bit bare and sad looking. This tree sat empty underneath awaiting Santa’s presents.
As a child, I was always jealous that only my mom could decorate the “nice”tree. I was often embarrassed of the basement tree because it looked like Charlie Brown trimmed it and no one ever got to see our tree driving by.
However, every Christmas Eve, Mom would let us open one gift (always new Pj’s) and we’d sit downstairs eating finger food and watch the Christmas Classics on T.V. My brother and I would gleefully guess what Santa would bring us and plot our annual attempt of getting a glance at the big guy himself. Right before bed we would read The Night Before Christmas and head upstairs after placing cookies, milk and a carrot out for Santa and Rudolph and try our best to fall asleep.
Without fail morning would come and we’d excitedly rush downstairs to the ugly tree and see it full of gifts for both of us. After coffee was made for our parents we’d gather around and one by one open up our presents and stockings always exclaiming that it was the best Christmas ever.
My brother and I on Christmas Day
I haven’t had an ugly tree since I left home. Mom has transitioned to one tree and still has a knack for decorating it as if it will be featured in a Hallmark movie. I have attempted to keep up with her with our tree often adorned in beautiful metallics and perfectly placed lights.
This year however, we have a very special reason for an ugly Christmas tree. Although we don’t have a finished basement to put it in, we have a nursery that was perfect for it. Watching my son as I placed all the “ugly” decorations with no rhyme or reason making sure it was as unbalanced as my OCD would allow was the best thing about my morning.
It also dawned on me that our ugly tree growing up was ten times more special then the tree upstairs. It was were all our memories where made and I hope the same for us too.
Ugly Christmas Tree- you’re the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen and I’m so thankful you’ve returned.