Monday, December 17, 2012

A Citrus Kind of Christmas

In light of recent events, I've been trying to embrace the present and celebrate the small moments in life.

This weekend, I went shopping for a live Christmas tree for the very first time.

We made some interesting discoveries along the way. Did you know, for example, that when you break the pine needles of a Douglas Fir, they smell like citrus?

We also learned that our Christmas tree is fifteen years old.

After we got home and set up the tree, I unpacked the ornaments and gave them to my kids to hang.

A little while later, I looked up and saw this:

"Where are all the ornaments?" I asked.

Turned out, my kids had hung the bulk of them on a corner of the tree facing the wall. This was their special hide-out, they explained. In order to get back there, I had to squeeze through a space that was perfect for a child. Not so comfortable for an adult.

But it was worth it. The view was magnificent.

So magnificent, in fact, I'm going to leave the ornaments where they are. After all, it is the small things -- the secret hideouts, the pretty ornaments, the citrus Christmas tree -- that matter in life.

What about you, dear reader? What small moments have you been celebrating this holiday season?

Happy Holidays!

-- Pintip


Kimberly said...

Pintip! Welcome to Honestly YA!!!
That is so funny and sweet at the same time. I'm glad you let them keep their ornaments where they put them. They'll have such wonderful memories TOGETHER of sneaking back there to see their special ornaments. It is the small moments in life that matter.
For me, hanging ornaments has always been one of those small things that mean the most. Several years ago, we bought a massive tree, and it fell over, crushing many of the ornaments I've collected since I was a kid. It was heartbreaking. Not the monetary loss, but the loss of remembered moments.
We make our own ornaments out of cinnamon and applesauce, and the kids love cutting them into their own shapes. And they smell so good on the trees.
It's just a little thing, and it means so much.
Have a wonderful Holiday, Pintip! Thanks for the much-needed post about enjoying the simple things in life. It's something we all need right now. And every day.

Carlene said...

Wonderful post, Pintip! Congratulations on your new home at Honestly YA. I loved seeing the magic your babies made for you and the family with their decorating! The pictures are beautiful and good for you that you were able to see how special this moment is. Merry Christmas and I look forward to reading all your coming musings!

Melissa Landers said...

Nice! I can relate. This year I bought a live tree on impulse, 5 years after going fake and vowing never to use a real tree again. (We had a horrific experience with our last live tree.) Anyway, I passed the trees at Kroger, and the scent resonated with me so strongly that I had to buy one. No regrets! But I think we'll cut one next year. They seem more fragrant that way.

Lorie Langdon said...

Pintip, we are so excited to have you as part of Honestly YA!
I *love* this post. You are so right that we have to treasure the little things and not let them pass by our notice. This is especially true when we have young children.
One of the small moments I celebrated this year was when my pre-teen son (who is fast pulling away from any family activities) donned a Santa hat, sang along with Christmas carols and helped decorate the tree. :D

CareyCorp said...

Welcome Pintip! SO glad to have you as part of the Honestly YA sisterhood.

What an adorable story - and I'm so glad you got pictures.

We get a live tree every year. I have ever since I was a child. It leads to great stories like "Remember the time (my baby sister's) galosh got sucked into the mud at that tree farm and we never saw it again?" or more recently "Remember when the tree flew off the top of the car on the highway...twice."

However, in all my years of live trees, I've never counted the rings. So I have that to look forward to as a new tradition.

So far my best small moment was when my 9-year-old asked me to wear our matching green tinsel headbands to church. It's super garish and clashed with my outfit and I loved that my daughter and I were "matchies".

Happy Holidays!


Denny S. Bryce said...

I enjoy visiting this blog and especially loved hearing the news that you're part of the gang over here. And as a debut post - it was a beautiful poem to the holiday, your gorgeous babies and your ability to 'see' the important things. Lovely post. And Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Pintip said...

Kim, Melissa, Lorie, and Carey --
Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm so absolutely thrilled to be here -- and honored to join such a talented group of YA writers.

Kim -- at your suggestion, I made applesauce and cinnamon ornaments with my kids yesterday! It was so much fun. And I'm sorry about your tree crushing your ornaments. How heartbreaking. But I have no doubt you will create new and wonderful memories going forward.

Melissa -- wow! Cutting one yourself? now that is impressive. I thought I was pretty ambitious for getting a live tree. Now there's a goal to set for the future. Happy holidays!

Lorie -- what a beautiful image you painted of your pre-teen son. Now that is a memory you will keep with you forever. :)

Carey -- oh my gosh! I can't believe your tree flew off your car on the highway...twice! Luckily, I could take back roads through the neighborhood to drive home, but my kids totally got a kick of seeing the tree on the roof of the car. That is so cute about you and your daughter wearing matching headbands. I'll have to remember to do that kind of thing often before my daughter decides it's too embarrassing.

Happy holidays all of you, and again, I'm so glad to be here with you all!

Pintip said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! Warmest wishes to you and your family this holiday season, and go make some magic with your beautiful boy!

Pintip said...

Denny, Thank you so much. I wish you a wonderful and relaxing holiday -- you deserve it after all of your hard work! Warmest wishes to you and your family. Thanks for visiting!

Natalie D Richards said...

So cool and so sweet of you, lady! I confess I'm a mom that takes pictures of the strings of ornaments on the bottom branches, but does eventually redistribute them. Perhaps I should have just let them be. :)

Diana Belchase said...

What a great post Pintip! Your kids will have special memories of this year and a mom who cared more about their pov of the holiday than what the rest of the world thinks.


Steph Winkelhake said...

So cute! I love that shopping for a tree was a whole learning experience for your kids. It'll be a year they'll always remember. (And I didn't know Douglas Fir could smell all citrusy. I'll tuck that thought away until next year.)

Pintip said...

Natalie, if the ornaments were just on the bottom branch, I'd probably redistribute them, too. But there was a patch that had four or five on a single branch and it just looked so funny I burst out laughing. And you have the pictures to remember! Happy holidays to you and the family, and thanks do much for stopping by!

Pintip said...

Diana, I love the description "the pov of the holidays." So writerly! It made me break out in a grin. Happy, happy holidays to you, Diana, and thanks for visiting!

Cecily White said...

So cute, Pintip!
My kids have secret hideouts all over the place too. I think magic must gather in small corners.


Pintip said...

Steph -- isn't that amazing? I had NO idea that a Christmas tree could smell that way, and we were so blown away, we said, "Okay, that's it. We want a Douglas Fir." The smell is strong and unmistakable, too. And I'm not sure how much they "learned," but we certainly had fun! Happy holidays to you and your lovely family, Steph, and thanks for stopping by!

Pintip said...

Thanks, Cecily. I think you're on to something here. Magic gathers in small places. Maybe us bigger people should look in those corners when we're in need of a little magic. Hugs right back at you!

Megan said...

Oh, Pintip. That was a beautiful post. Your kids will remember you did this for them. And so will I, next time I scold my 17-month old for pulling ornaments off the tree and trying to hang them on the cat. Thank you, for sharing this!

Pintip said...

Megan, She hangs them on the cat? LOL! How does the cat feel about this? I hope you get some nice pictures! Happy holidays to you and your family, and thanks so much for coming by !

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Congrats on your new blog home, Pintip!

That is a *gorgeous* tree! Love the kids' decorated secret hideout. Very cute. We've yet to put up our tree. Down here in Aussieland, most people use artificial trees--ours looks like a smaller version of yours and it smells like eau de plastique! We once bought a real tree for Christmas, but we had a lot of trouble keeping it upright, mainly because the cats liked to scratch the bark.

Fab post!

Romily Bernard said...

Yay for real Xmas trees!! We love them. One year, my sister and I talked my parents into a flocked Xmas tree. You know the kind that look like they've been snowed on? The whole bottom half ended up nekkid because the dogs kept running past and their tails would hit the snow stuffing and it would go flying. Definitely not the prettiest look, but we thought it was hysterical. Great post, Pintip!!

Pintip said...

Vanessa, thanks for stopping by! And don't knock the plastic! I've had plastic trees every year until this year, and I think my childhood memories would be just as happy whether I had a real or plastic tree. It's the people and the love and the intentions that truly matter. I'd love to see Christmas in Aussieland, with all that wonderful warmth. I'll put that one on my bucket list. :) Happy, happy holidays, Vanessa!

Pintip said...

Romily, that's hysterical. I think my bare tree would fit right in next to your snowy-except-for-one-stripe one. Yay for pets! They certainly keep things interesting, don't they? Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Jennifer McGowan said...

OH, Pintip! What an amazing story and I love that you left the ornaments up. Moments like that are what last in the hearts and minds of everyone in the family... heck I doubt I will forget it either.

Here's wishing you the merriest of Christmases!


Pintip said...

Thanks so much, Jenn! And if my kids are too young to remember, I have the pictures to prove it! Lol. I hope you have a very happy holidays, and thanks so much for stopping by!