what our christmas tree taught me

Last night Melissa and I went Christmas tree shopping and upon arriving, we immediately found the most Charlie Brown tree on the lot. So pitiful, in fact, that they gave us a discount on account of its missing backside. A bare-backed tree, for us, indeed!

(You can't tell in this picture because my camera was being jankity all night: the entire bottom front half is missing...)

I'll admit this sounds dramatic, but something about this tree tugged at my heart. Melissa was understandably tempted by the trees at Whole Foods next door - beautiful, full and already in the stand for only $20 more. But no, I wanted this little naked tree that wobbles in the stand its so skinny. 

We joked we were just doing some charity work - adopting the very last $20 tree on the lot. The lonely guy on the back wall that nobody wanted. 

But as we threw it on top of the car, I couldn't help but think of the way were all like that tree. We've got some holes. Some wobbly parts. Some branches that stick out the wrong direction. 

I think the holiday season so easily tempts us to get wrapped up in the image. The perfect tree. Perfect gifts for people you love. Perfect dinner parties. Perfect scheduling - some how managing to make it to every party. 

This week, as the Christmas season has really kicked off, I've felt a little stressed. By the parties I have to say no to and the gifts I've not yet purchased. But last night our tree reminded me that life isn't about checking everything off perfectly during the holiday season - or any season, for that matter. It's about slowing down and showing up. It's about being present instead of performing. 

And you know what happened to our tree? We wrapped it right up in lights and ornaments and love. And before we knew it, it looked perfectly full. And perfectly happy.