It’s Not About the Tree {Finer Things Friday}

I’m a white lights girl where my Christmas tree is concerned.  Lots and lots of tiny white lights.

That’s why our tree stood mostly naked in the corner of the living room for three days.  Half of my white lights weren’t working.  “It’s bright enough, mom.  We can just use those (hodgepodge colored strands that we’ve hung on to for some reason), mom.  It’ll be fine when we put the ornaments on, mom!” insisted our children, impatient with me and ready deck the halls already!

But I’m at least as stubborn as they are.  “The tree is too dark!  I will not put ornaments on a dark tree!” I grumped to their disappointed faces.  (But I also will not make a special trip to town to pay full price for white lights.  I’m at least as frugal as I am stubborn!)

The naked tree was getting to me by day three though, as were the boxes of Christmas decorations in the dining room, and the unending requests to please decorate the tree.  Can I help?  Can I? Can we open the boxes yet?  Why haven’t we decorate the tree?

Enough.  I dug in the box and found a strand of red and green lights.  They worked.  Then another strand.  Red blinking lights.  Fine.  And a multi-colored strand.  Lovely.  In the end, I draped eight different strands of lights on that tree, and my mood improved with each cord.  “We’re just gonna make this work!”

With a big grin on his face, ready to dig into the precious ornament boxes, my son excitedly reminded me,

“Christmas isn’t about the tree, mom.  It’s about love.”




With all grumpy remains blasted out the window by a 7 year old, we got busy.  White balls, red bows, and apples first, then ornament after ornament of precious memories.

As the kids were clustering ornaments I grinned at my husband.  “I’ll rearrange after they go to bed.”

But you know what?  I don’t think I will.

Our Christmas tree looks pretty perfect to me.

What Finer Things are you celebrating this week?  Link up and let us know!


  1. Love the tree, & I think you should leave it as is 😉
    Thanks so much for hosting!

  2. Beautiful… We are hoping to get our tree up today!

  3. Beautiful! It looks so cozy.

  4. I let the boys decorate our tree this year and I am leaving it as is… They were happy and I was too busy to do it myself, so it is however they wanted it to be!

  5. It is beautiful!

  6. My parents have the same apples! I miss their tree with lots of little-kid ornaments! And I’m looking forward to next year when I’ll have a little helper clustering ornaments onto ours 😉

  7. I had the same issue this year. We had to throw out our lights last year because they were no good. So for a couple days we went without lights. I bought the mulit-color ones but forgot the white lights (which must be on the tree every year). UGH! After day 5 of not getting the lights and seeing many wondering eyes of IF they would ever get to decorate, I gave in. We have one string of lights on the tree and 6 very happy campers. This was the first year we celebrated Christmas with 3 of our kiddos because they are foster kids. Each never even knowing the real meaning of Christmas. Truth be told I would have made my bio-kids wait another week or 2 to get ALL the lights I needed for my idea of the perfect tree. Yet with the other kids never being able to decorate a tree prior to coming into our home because they never got to put ornaments on a tree…… Let’s just say Christmas was no longer about me anymore. Our tree is darker then usual but the faces that look at it…… the light in their eyes brighten up the room enough to make up for it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story! Glad to know I am not alone!

  8. I’ve been pretty good about not rearranging, thought the 3 candy canes on one branch really does test my nerves. ha ha!

  9. I’m a white lights girl too, though I’ve totally made my peace with letting our daughter help with the tree decorating. as long as nothing gets broken (more for her safety than to preserve the ornaments).

  10. I decided this year that I wouldn’t rearrange the ornaments after the kids were done. I realized I don’t need to try to impress anyone. My husband is happy with our kid-decorated tree and the kids are very proud of the way they decorated it!

  11. My girls have been decorating the tree by themselves for the last number of years and I don’t move a thing. I have enjoyed watching the tree change each year. This year we have almost as many decorations at the top as we do on the bottom as they are finally getting tall enough to reach the top. If I would have been smart, I would have taken a picture every year so they could see the changes. My tree may not be perfect enough for Southern Living magazine but my girls are proud of it and I love it!

  12. Michelle H. says:

    Love it! My kids (6 and 3) keep re-decorating every day or so since we put up the tree. Every time I walk by the ornaments are in a different place. They’re going to get a month’s worth of entertainment out of that tree!

  13. Are you sure you weren’t at my house this year? We couldn’t get the tree put together right (still isn’t, I gave up!), couldn’t get the lights on right (dh fixed it a couple of days later) and I just wouldn’t decorate until those 2 things were done. And then I realized that 12 days were going to pass before the 6 of us were going to be together again to decorate. Oops! So whoever was home decorated and when the others got home they decorated, and so on. Totally not ideal, but after 5 days of boxes and frustration the decorating was done. I must plan better next year!

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