I had the grand pleasure of spending the afternoon yesterday with a five-year old. Since my own chldren are older now (my “baby” is 17) I had forgotten about seeing Christmas through the eyes of a small child. Michelle is the granddaughter of a friend. She was shy at
first and didn’t talk. To engage her, I asked if she wanted to see our Christmas tree.
Of course she did! She took my hand and we walked to the parlor where our tree is. I had just finished decorating it and the boxes and assorted left-over decorations were still on the floor, lending the look of the same tornadic clutter that used to be under the tree after our children finished opening presents.
Her eyes opened wide at what I thought was awe of my beautiful 9 foot Frasier fir standing proudly with blue and white lights and similar themed ornaments. Then she looked at me and asked…”can we finish decorating it?” She had decided it just simply wasn’t done. I asked her what else it needed and she went right for the red and black Moroccan bows I had from a tree of Christmas past. “THESE!” So after we finished tying those on, we had to put on a few mis-matched ornaments I wasn’t intending to use because they didn’t match my picture of what the tree should look like. She asked me about each ornament and my answer reminded me why I was keeping them in the first place. “This is one my husband made.” “This one my daughter gave me as a gift.” ….and so on. Why hadn’t I put them up to begin with???
When Michelle was satisfied with her work on the tree, she asked about the rest of the ornaments and I explained that many came from a pretend
Christmas tree that I have but wasn’t going to use because we had this real one. She said if I had it then it was real and I should put it up. When asked where should we put it, she marched about the house and made her decision. Right in the hallway. She explained: that way people can see it from either door they come in, from the kitchen, or if going down the hall to another room or to bed upstairs. She figured the hall was the one spot where everyone could see it. She thought my tree in the parlor was too hard to find. So…taken with her spirit, I went and got that tree. Michelle and I put it up in the hallway. It’s decoration job is truly beautiful. All of the ornaments are in a blob about 2.5 feet off the ground. I asked her if we should spread them out a bit….”no, this way I can see them too.” I was taken by the thought that young children live in a sea of legs. Pictures are hung high in the room, windows are out of their line of vision too. She wanted to see all the ornaments on the tree.
SOOOOO….if you visit Bygone Basics this year. We have a tree in the hallway, and yes I plan to leave it there, and yes, it is fully decorated.
My Christmas wish is that each of us is blessed with seeing the wisdom of young children.