Thursday, December 20, 2012
There is a spectacular 9 foot Christmas tree in my living room. It can be seen from more than two blocks away, glowing and festive through our big front window. True story...nearly 8 years ago when we were shopping for a house, I fell in love with the one we now own because the first thing I imagined when we came up the stairs with the realtor, was a tree, in that window.
Multiple times over the course of the holiday season, people will come into our home and walk right up to it and remark, "Wow! It's gorgeous. Is it real?" And I always respond, "Yes, it is real. It's a real tree, with lights and ornaments and a bit of dust because it is also artificial. It is a real artificial tree."
And I love it.
I love that it is 9 feet tall and that it is exactly wide enough to fill the space we have, creating just enough Christmas coziness and no Christmas crowded-ness. I love that it comes apart in 4 easy pieces and stores away safely in my garage. I love that from every angle it holds tiny baubles of Christmas memories; vacations, people we love, special events, favorite things. And I love that it came, preloaded with nearly 1,300 energy saving white lights that save me hours every year by not requiring that I put them on myself and take them off again in January.
But here's the thing about those lights. Some of them have gone out. This magnificent tree is on it's 4th Christmas and there are hundreds of bulbs that no longer light. Some got broken and a few burned out here and there. On the back of the tree there are 4 large branches that no longer light at all...the whole branch. Dark. There's also this one branch on the left that blinks on and off occasionally. The nutty professor has spent lots of time scraping corroded sockets and moving bulbs around and even he cannot determine why sometimes it blinks on and other times it stays off.
But the dark branches are on the back where nobody will notice them and that crazy on again off again branch...the funny thing is I only notice it when it changes. All of a sudden it will come on I will laugh because I hadn't noticed before that something wasn't working as it should. We found the tiny bag of replacement bulbs and tried to fill some of the holes, but the new bulbs stuck out like sore thumbs because they were so much brighter than the old ones that had been dimmed by 4 years of Christmas twinkling. Those empty sockets are sprinkled here and there all over the tree and it really doesn't seem to matter.
There is a spectacular 9 foot Christmas tree in my living room. It can be seen from more than two blocks away through our big front window. It gives off the most perfect glow when the rest of the house is dark. There are hundreds of bulbs on this tree that no longer light...but it doesn't matter.
The tiny details don't always change the big picture.
This is how I'm living.