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A Topless Tree

2014 December 3


Last night I was sitting on the couch and taking in our little holiday home.

The carols were playing on Pandora, the seasonal candles filled the air with the spicy, crisp scent of pine. Little lights twinkled from every nook of our small living room, casting a holiday glow over the entire space. The red tree skirt sat clear and waiting. The silver balls seemed to dance alongside the strings of lights hidden amid the thick, green branches of the tree.

The room was flooded with the magic of the holiday season, finally upon us.

Except one thing.

Our topless tree.

You see, we broke our tree topper last year. It broke in half when we were putting it on the tree but we decided to use the top of it anyways and it sat proudly on top of that tree for the whole season, no one but us privy to its shattered past.

When it came time to take the tree down, we tossed that topper. We promised ourselves we would get a new one, maybe one that would be even prettier, maybe one that would shine a little more, add an extra inch to the picture perfect display.

But we forgot to get that topper. The days after the holiday were a blur and soon January was upon us and Christmas decorations were nothing but a fading memory as we inched into the new year.

So this year, we brought home a beautiful new tree. A gorgeous new tree. Full and lush and deep green.

And we decorated that tree. My husband strung the lights, as he always does, cursing here and there but working those lights as only a man with years of experience can. My mom came to help us dress it up after school. The kids put on cheap elf hats from the Dollar Store, we listened to more Pandora, and we dug up the treasures that the holiday boxes always hold so dear. “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments and handmade reindeer and heirloom pieces handed down through the decades.

And we had no topper.

It’s a topless tree.

It’s lit and decorated and sits beautifully in the corner by the window in our little living room with a view.

Topper less.

And you know what? It may just stay that way.

We may leave that top totally bare, just a skinny little lonely branch sticking out of the top.

We may break another ornament.

We may have a light or two that burns out.

We may do a terrible job of wrapping presents (highly likely, if I am involved).

We may forget to move the Elf or burn some cookies or run out of eggnog.

We may keep that topless tree right into 2015.

And maybe even beyond that.

And it will be ok.

It will be topless and unfinished and unapologetically us.

It will be more than ok.

Because it may not be a perfect Christmas, but it’s still perfect…because it’s Christmas.

5 Responses
  1. Jenn permalink
    December 3, 2014

    Well said! My husband and I let my kids pick out our tree. Some years they have picked amazing, lush trees; other years more Charlie Brown trees. I always say the same thing as we ponder their choice. We will make the tree beautiful with lights and ornaments and love.

    Our tree topper is a cardboard and tin foil creation my husband made the first year we were married. This was to be our star “for” now. However no matter how many Target trips I make ( and I am there more than I care to admit) I can’t replace our star. I look at the twinkling star tree toppers and the beautiful angels that could easily sit at the top of my tree but 20 years of Christmas memories are wrapped up in this star. Christmas for me is about the memories and the moments, which are rarely perfect!

    • WWGD permalink*
      December 3, 2014

      Aw, I love that story about the topper! So good, thanks for sharing. xx

  2. liz duncan permalink
    December 3, 2014

    Cute! Always enjoy your writing style!!

    And I agree, Christmas time is great, simply because it’s Christmas time.

    Do you ever meet people who hate this time of year? Red flag.

    • WWGD permalink*
      December 3, 2014

      Ha, seriously! Thanks for the kind words, as always!

  3. Erica permalink
    December 4, 2014

    Christmas is perfect. You’re right. Great post.

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