Tonight, I found out that we are giving away our Christmas tree. We’re giving it to my brothers church in Brisbane because they don’t have one. I got ridiculously upset about it when mum told me, not that I showed it to her. I actually, literally burst into tears because of it. I feel so greedy and idiotic and spoiled for being so upset about losing a plastic tree. We don’t need it. We have another (smaller, but more fitting) tree.
We’ve had that tree since I can remember and all the memories that go with it are such an important part of Christmas for me. Since our tree was so big we actually had to set aside at least half a day to put it up and decorate it every year. It was one of my absolute favourite days in December. The whole family would come round, we’d put on Christmas music and practically (actually, literally) dance around the tree. We’d eat home made fruit mice pies and short bread and “special” (Liquer) chocolates. Everyone just let themselves get ridiculous and silly. It always took us so much longer to put the tree up because we’d find things from past Christmas’s and go all nostalgic on them. I loved it so, so much.
The best thing about it though was that the entire family was there. That doesn’t happen anymore. All three of my siblings are married and two of them have children. The last time we spent Christmas together was in ‘06 when we all went to Bangladesh. We didn’t put up a tree that year.
I guess if you had’ve told me in grade eight that it was the last time that I would be putting up the Christmas tree with my whole family, I wouldn’t have believed such a thing could come to an end. Surely such an “important” part of Christmas couldn’t just… stop.
I think that giving away the tree, for me at least, signifies that the day of putting up the tree won’t ever happen again. And realistically, I don’t think it will. My siblings have their own families now (one has FOUR kids!), and are starting their own Christmas traditions. I feel a little like I’ve been left in the dust. I’m not ready to let go of the family being all together. I feel like it was yanked away from me too early.
I’m fairly sure that Christmas in ‘06 was the last time everyone was together at all. I don’t know when it will be that we’ll all be together again. It might be years still. I guess the fact that the tree still went up every year gave me hope that we’d still continue the tradition someday. Even though I think I knew that it wasn’t likely that it would happen, the hope was still there.
It’s about so much more than just a tree.