We're finally finished with wrapping up Christmas around these parts (yes, total pun intended) and I can't say that I'm too sad this year. It's almost like Christmas came and went so quickly this year, it hardly registered a blip on my radar. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, but Christmas in Italy is so different than what I grew up with, I'm just not feelin' it over here. And we've been so rushed this holiday season--too rushed to even really enjoy much. I swear, next year we will be putting up the tree the week after Halloween, just so that we have a chance to enjoy it instead of rushing to get ready for Christmas and then rushing to put it all away after January 1st. And then I've got it--the dreaded mommy guilt. If you're a normal mom (not a Pinterest mom with far too much time on her hands) like I am, you know what I'm talking about. Nothing is ever good enough and soon your kids won't be little anymore... Ugh, the Guilt!!
When I was a little girl, my parents put up the same fake Christmas tree every year. I use the word "fake" for a reason... It was white (to portray the image of a snow-covered tree, I guess) and my mother put these pale blue lights on it. I pretty much hated it. I wanted a cut tree more than anything but my mom's "allergies" kept us from getting a cut tree.
But my father volunteered with the Lion's Club and every year, he would work the club's Christmas tree lot. And every year, close to Christmas day, he would bring me my own tiny little tree that he would put up on a table and let me decorate with flashing colored lights--you know the huge bulbs and come in a rainbow of colors? I loved my short, fat little tree. I was perfect to me.
Here in Italy, a cut tree is very hard to find--surprising, right? They are so popular in Germany! There are some available but they're usually ugly and expensive, so our family was stuck again this year with the pre-lit 220 volt tree that we bought at the PX last year. It.is.so.ugly. For some reason, Jackson absolutely LOVES it. To him, it is the prettiest Christmas tree EVER. Jackson is our "Christmas kid". He lives for the holidays, and so when Steve and I went to Ikea a couple of weekends before Christmas and they had tiny, fat LIVE Christmas trees that you could plant after Christmas, I knew we were in trouble. So Jackson got his very own living Christmas tree in his room this year :) Wish I could have found some big, fat, flashing 220 volt lights for it...
But it was perfect for him.