Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Colors of Christmas

“Mommy. Your hair looks so pretty with the red and blue lights in it,” Caroline calmly said from the back seat while she pushed her rose colored glasses back up on her nose.

“You goin’ to jail?” Cyrus asked without regard, more worried about where his lunch might come from if mom was headed to the pen.

According to the state trooper, I was going 63 in a 55, already late for school. He was a kind man and gave me a warning, but not before pointing out my plates were expired.

My mind raced. Expired plates?? There is no way I could have missed this.

Or is there?

I was sure I’d renewed my plates a month ago. I logged into the BMV website and sure enough, the new registration was in my “cart” but never officially purchased. I took care of the registration and drove ten miles per hour under the speed limit for the next week until the proper paperwork and a little magic sticker arrived. I have never been so paranoid in my life.

Talk about a mother running on empty. ‘Tis the season to feel a little overwhelmed.

For more than a week the children begged to put up our Christmas tree. I was ready for it too, although I had no idea where we were going to actually place such an object during a remodel. Much of our house is boxed in plastic totes, shoved against a wall, or outside in our “storage unit” (the unused chicken coop). The home renovation project is floating from room to room, as certain pieces come in while others remain delayed.

We finally fed cattle early one evening then went to cut down a Christmas tree. Talk about an experience. Caroline wanted to bring home every tree to ensure no one was left out and everyone felt special, Cody carried a tape measure and wanted to get the exact measurements of every tree considered to ensure we were maximizing our space, and Cyrus could not care less. Every time we’d stop to evaluate a tree, he’d sit in the grass and fill the bucket of his toy excavator with dirt.

We walked to the farthest corner of the tree lot (more like a 100-acre wood when you’re the one pulling both kids on the tree cart!!) to ensure we did not cut corners and miss the perfect tree. When we finally got to the back corner, it was determined that the white pine would not hold our heavy ornaments, so we retreated back across the tree lot (100-acre wood) to find something more stable.

At this point I would have settled for Charlie’s Brown’s spruce, but I was the only one with that sentiment.

Suddenly, the sun broke through the clouds, the golden rays poured down onto a tree and angels began singing.

Until we got closer.

“This is it!” Cody exclaimed. “Perfect size, perfect shape. What do you think?” he asked Caroline and I. Cyrus was 20 yards away digging a hole.

We studied the tree, seeing that the interior needles were completely orange. The tree appeared to be half-dead.

“Why is it orange?” Caroline asked.

“Because the sun is going down,” Cody quickly remarked, but we weren’t convinced.

“Look at the inside, closest to the trunk. All of those needles are orange,” I directed him.

“No they aren’t.”

“Yes they are.”

“No they aren’t.”

It quickly dawned on me that I was in fact arguing with someone who is red/green color blind.

Caroline quickly chimed in, letting Daddy know the needles were orange and this tree wasn’t the one. We moved on to the next. Aren’t daughters great?

We finally found one, smaller than we’re accustomed to but perfect for this unique year. It was decorated a day later (that’s a column in itself) and the kids have been quite diligent in keeping it, and the carpet, watered.

Though a rare year for our family, I’m certain we’ll look back on this one and smile, especially in the simplicity that a we’re experiencing. I’m slowly learning that the colors of Christmas aren’t supposed to be flashing red and blue (oops), glowing, blinding or distracting. Perhaps the most wonderful colors of Christmas are simply The Light.