Holiday Parenting

Merry Christmas!

2020: A Christmas without a Christmas tree.

In early December, our family was about to leave the house and go to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our own tree when my husband and I looked at each other and decided that we just didn’t feel like having a Christmas tree this year.

Our son isn’t three yet and didn’t seem to notice that we’ve never had a tree (other than a fake Charlie Brown tree that plays music). If we decided to purchase a tree this year, I would have wanted to go all out and completely decorate it with all new ornaments. Honestly we usually travel during the holidays so I’ve never thought about buying a Christmas tree and ornaments until very recently. And I didn’t want to, especially during a pandemic, take care of a Christmas tree, purchase lights, buy a tree topper, find a tree skirt, and shop for ornaments online. I was gently reminded that we could make or own ornaments, which we did for the trees on our front lawn (see my blog post from yesterday).

The reality is that this year is particularly difficult for most families. We’re just trying to manage each day at a time without any family nor close friends within driving distance (we’re new to the Chicago area). And we don’t want to be part of the pandemic problem so the three of us are staying home trying to avoid spreading this awful virus. I know many people are in much more challenging situations than us so I’m not complaining that we get to stay at home and watch Christmas movies on Netflix. I simply wanted to share that our family was slightly overwhelmed by thought of a Christmas tree this year so instead we just decorated the fireplace and skipped the Christmas tree.

I’ve seen many families with perfectly beautiful Christmas trees and very young kids, which is extraordinarily fantastic. I’m impressed that all of you were able to keep the magical spirit of the holidays alive this year. For those who have children toddler age or younger, did you avoid delicate ornaments or place them very high up in the tree? I’ve seen some families place baby gates around the tree as well. Whatever it takes to protect your kids from getting hurt or from breaking family heirlooms. In any case, it takes extra effort and time to put together a Christmas tree when you have very young children and/or babies. So for a year that has already been stressful enough, I personally decided to pass on an additional point of stress. But I really admire and enjoy tree photos of families who made the extra effort.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our family and friends!

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