with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
I remember decorating our family’s Christmas tree with my sister while the Wizard of Oz played on the television. My Mom didn’t seem to mind us taking the reins and we had so much fun doing it after my step father strung the lights. Pulling each ornament out of the box like a long lost friend and carefully placing it on the tree, throwing tinsel on the branches, spraying fake snow on the ends of the branches. (It was the eighties. Don’t judge.)
When I was single, I had a little tabletop tree that I would decorate and place on a counter in my apartment, and when I got married, my husband and I inherited a (really nice) artificial tree from his parents when they downsized to a smaller one. I decided on a theme that fit my house (country)(even though I hate country music) and proceeded to buy/make what I wanted to decorate the tree with. Every year when it’s time to decorate, I turn on the Christmas music, open up the boxes, and get lost in the fun of Christmasifying our home.
If it were up to me, I would decorate sometime in mid-November. I love the lights, I love the ambiance, I love how happy the holiday is. My husband, however, has one rule: No decorating until after the Festival of Lights, which is the last Friday in November. Every year, Saturday morning after Light Up sees my husband hauling all of the boxes out of the attic in the garage and me (and now, our kids) decorating the tree(s). (We now have a second tree for downstairs, which is where the kids hang all of their decorations; the tree upstairs is my tree.)
As I mentioned in my last post, I was in New York this past week, and in getting ready for my trip we didn’t have time to do the tree before I left. I arrived in NYC on the Monday and that night I called my husband to get him to set up a Skype chat for the kids and I. The Skype phone rang, I heard their voices, and then the video started with the kids sitting at the kitchen table exclaiming Hi, Mom!
I said ‘hi’ and then blinked. A few times. The entire area behind them was full of sparkling white lights.
Did you guys put up the Christmas tree without me?!?
Yes! Isn’t it pretty?
I started to cry. I didn’t just tear up, I full out cried. Then they started to cry and my husband was saying off screen that they did it for me, and I tried to compose myself (to no avail). I told them that I was tired from a long day of travel and that they didn’t need to cry and then we said goodbye and hung up.
And then I did the UGLY CRY. Decorating the Christmas tree is MY THING. How could they decorate it WITHOUT ME? I was a pretty sad and tragic lady.
Thirty minutes later, I received an email from my husband with the attached photo and message:
Blank canvas, all ready for your touch.
We are all terribly sorry…
All was right in my world again and everyone we’ve told the story has found it as shocking (that it happened) and hilarious (now that it’s been remedied) as we have.
Who decorates the tree in your house?
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