No tree this Christmas…sad, yet liberating.


Usually we put the Christmas tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year we held off due to our new window’s being installed the first week of December. After speaking individually with the boys, I discovered that neither one of them really cared to have the tree or any decorations up, and both spoke vehemently in favor of leaving it all in the boxes this year.

I think there are several reasons for this, the first of which is glaring: Christmas is my ex’s favorite holiday, and he was always the driver behind the decorating for that holiday. The boys are dreading Christmas for a lot of reasons, and I think they’d just like to have our home be a safe haven where they can just push things under the rug a little. So be it…no big deal.

Another reason they could care less about Christmas decorating is that none of us are Christians. We are strictly secular celebrators of the holiday, being that two of us have Pagan beliefs and another of us leans toward atheism, and it made sense to both of them that we dispense with putting up a tree and most of the stuff that goes with it.

Hm…I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I am almost ashamed to admit that the first thing I feel is a little relief. For years, dragging all the boxes upstairs and dealing with the mess that is Christmas decorating is nothing I ever look forward too, not to mention having to put it all away again. Yet, last year I pared down the decorations and got a smaller more manageable tree so this year there wouldn’t be such a mess. I might have been looking forward to decorating this year…just a little bit.

I have a walnut decoration just like this one, which my Mom made for us.

Our Christmas tree has always been decorated with many handmade decorations that we’ve been given over the years, many of which we received from loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s a real trip to look at them all and remember the people who made them. I’m going to miss that this year.

It’s sad that our family has crossed this threshold, and closed a chapter in our lives. The lack of desire to put up the tree is kind of the last nail in that coffin.

Here’s the good news, and the blessing in disguise: We now have room to grow and build new traditions. Sometimes you have to cut away what no longer serves and start fresh, which is where we’re at right now.

This year we have a clean slate to start from, and I’m going to let the boys drive what comes next. I have no idea what it looks like, but it will be uniquely ours and will be something we can build on for ourselves. Whatever it ends up being, I hope it’s something they remember fondly, and maybe carry it on with their own families. I’m thinking that perhaps the celebration will settle around the Winter Solstice, but we’ll see.

I never would have believed that this notion of starting fresh and creating something new would feel as liberating as it does. I hope they feel the same way. I can’t wait to see what we come up with!

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About Sparrow
I am a 47 years young and the mother of two amazing young men, who've grown up and left me mostly an Empty-Nester. I write about what's going on in my little corner of the High Plains, or what happens to be crawling across my brain on a given day. Thank you so much for stopping by. Make yourself at home...through the magic of the internet, the coffee's always free and the doughnuts are fresh!

7 Responses to No tree this Christmas…sad, yet liberating.

  1. Karen says:

    AWEN…blessings to thee and yours…AWEN in the peace of nature and the stars……..there is a light in each of us we can never deny..even an aethist…..for is this not a glorious breathtaking natural world and universe……..how we celebrate the changing of the seasons is spiritual…as someone said….we are not human beings on a spiritual pathe…but spiritual people looking to maintain balance in the world of the human.

  2. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    Christmas is different things to different people. To me, it sounds like the most important thing you and your boys get out of this time is the opportunity to be together as a family. That is more important than a tree. I hope you three have a great and memorable time together. 🙂

    • sparrow1969 says:

      Thanks Mark, you’re right. That will be the baseline of whatever we cook up for new traditions.

      I’m trying to figure out how I can fit a cruise and a mai-tai into whatever this new tradition is, but I’m thinking that might have to wait until next year! 😉

  3. sparrow1969 says:

    Karen, you always know just the right thing to say. You’re right…we are spiritual people looking to maintain the balance. That’s exactly how I feel about this whole thing.

  4. Brea says:

    I envy you, my friend. For being able to shuck off some of the traditions that have become just… well, a little “obligatory” as of late. There are things that I could seriously do without, but for the others in my household, I have to continue them for now.

    Someday, however, someday… I will be free to split from the old with ease, and toss some of the things I no longer am attached to, out with last month’s leftover turkey bones. Here’s to new traditions!

  5. jeanne says:

    Your post made me sad. I’m a devout Roman Catholic, and before we start a spam war, let me say it isn’t for religious reasons that I found your note sad. There seemed an emptiness or a wondering there. It sounded like there may have been abuse in your past relationship, or perhaps seeking that is illusive. Religon aside, many celebrate the seasons, and other pagen celebrations. I’m more than 1/16th Native American (one Great Grandparent’s full-blood Choctaw, and I have 4 other types of Native American ancestry in my blood) so I do appreciate the way other’s view, and celebrate events.If you are changing things in your family, for growth, and positive reasons, I celebrate you. And if you find healing necessary, I wish that for you all, also. I’m a single mother of 3 amazing adults, and Grand to 5 wonderful little ones, and I can share that an empty nest is a change worth working through, towards an increase in joy, from the empty areas. And regardless all the other, I wish your family Joy! jo

    • sparrow1969 says:

      Greetings Jo,

      I do recognize that there is a wondering tone to this post, and that is largely due to having to navigate uncharted territory. I would even go so far as to say that I am not just wondering, but wandering as well. I have become a big believer in the “fake it ’til you make it” method of life. I keep putting a positive spin on things the best I can until the actual positives pop out.

      No worries about a spam war here. I welcome your comments as they are thoughtful and well spoken. I was not abused in my past relationship, but I was neglected and I am personally better off without him. The kids are another story, though. They struggle with needing their dad, and disliking him for dumping us and moving in with an old girlfriend. The way they feel about the Christmas tree is just a symptom of that, and I’m ok with respecting their wishes if it makes it easier on them. The tree isn’t the main thing, it’s family. So, we will build something new for ourselves and move forward. I’m sure we’ll try out new things and some of those will stick and become traditions. Something I didn’t realize until I’d been thinking about for a bit, but we have a lot of traditions with my parents that are totally unaffected, and the only thing we are doing differently this year is not putting up the tree. If that’s all that changes, it’s really not so bad. I didn’t think I’d miss the tree that much, but I really have. Next year, I think I might just put it up anyway!

      Thank you so much for your comment… I do hope you stop by again.

      Merry Christmas!
      Sparrow

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