Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Not Charlie Brown’s, But Close

With December upon us, I reluctantly had to address Christmas with Mrs. Joe. As many of you know, and now I am learning, this is the worst holiday to be a single parent. The idea of not having my kids with me for any part of Christmas is upsetting to say the least.

Mrs. Joe & I have agreed that I will have them Christmas Eve and she will have them Christmas Day. My family always celebrates on Christmas Eve so it will not be that bad.

With that in mind, I had Peanut and The Champ with me this past weekend. I knew I had to get a Christmas tree now or wait until the weekend before Christmas when I had them again.

We set out Sunday morning with the first snowfall of the season under our feet. It was just an inch but it helped set the mood. I figured we would go back to the same tree farm as years' before. I posted last year about the tree farm we had been getting our tree from.

As I look back, I realize how hypocritical that time was but I digress.

We had not tagged a tree this year but I figured we could still find something. We had to stop at Home Depot for a tree stand first. The bottom of the old stand, made of plastic, cracked. It might have been because I left it outside still full of water after Christmas last year. Maybe something about water expanding as it freezes but who knows.

At Home Depot, we found the tree stands and the kids noticed all the Christmas trees they were selling. Most were on the small side. Peanut asked if we could buy one of those trees. I assumed they would want to go to the tree farm and cut one down. But that gave me an idea.

What if I bought a small tree, one small enough that the kids could decorate all by themselves without the need of a ladder for them to reach the top?

I told them my idea and they went for it. So I asked the clerk where the smallest trees were. He pointed over in the corner where a handful of small, neglected trees laid. We went over and found the smallest one. It couldn’t have been 4 feet tall. I asked them if the liked it and they did. I paid for it along with the stand and we took it home.

We cleared a spot in the living room and set up the tree. I put a strand of lights on it and let them decorate it. Along with the balls, gingerbread men, Santas and angels, the kids made some paper ornaments and hung them on the tree as well.

It is not the biggest, most beautiful tree in the world but it was completely decorated by Peanut & The Champ. Watching them as they put the ornaments on it reminded me what Christmas is all about.

Santa's Little Helpers

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Blogger Woman in a Window said...

You are such a sweet dad. Hope your Christmas is a good one. I wish this for you, I really do. I feel all kinda big sisterish to you. What's up with that? I just don't like to see terribly good people hurt.

Be good. Eat cookies. Play with those chil'uns.

Tue Dec 09, 10:33:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous TwoBusy said...

I disagree -- I think that's just about the loveliest tree I'm gonna see this year. Your kids did a great job pimping it out.

Tue Dec 09, 11:15:00 PM 2008  
Blogger painted maypole said...

great tree! (and we got ours from home depot, too. hey... don't knock it 'till you've tried it!)

Tue Dec 09, 11:22:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous phenom said...

What a great idea! And they did a fantastic job on it.

Wed Dec 10, 09:18:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Pgoodness said...

That was a great idea! And it looks wonderful!

Wed Dec 10, 12:34:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Charlotta-love said...

I think the tree is perfect!

By the way, you are doing a great job (seem to be at least) at making the best of a difficult situation. Enjoy the holiday as much as possible. :o)

Wed Dec 10, 01:49:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous movin' down the road said...

totally cute!

Wed Dec 10, 05:31:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous bea said...

The tree is totally, wonderfully cool.

I must commend you on your ability to cooperate with Mrs. Joe on tough matters. You always put the kids first. Not many are so unselfish.

Merry, merry, happy, happy.

Wed Dec 10, 07:52:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Amy said...


I just heard from a friend of mine about a great tradition; my kids are way too old to start it but you might like it...every year she gets her kids small trees for their rooms and, each christmas, gives them their own ornament to hang on the tree. She saves these ornaments in separate boxes with their names on it. That way, when they eventually move away, she can give them a box of ornaments to take with them that they can use to decorate their own trees in their own apts/houses.

You're a really, really good dad.

Wed Dec 10, 09:32:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Dad Stuff said...

They did a great job. They also have great Christmas spirit.
Now they need to cut some paper snowflakes drink some hot chocolate.

Wed Dec 10, 11:03:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Mike said...

Take it from a former single dad, your doing it right. The holidays suck and getting the kids for part not all of them is the worst.

The tree decorating is brillant. If mine were young like yours I would have stolen your short tree idea...

Thu Dec 11, 01:46:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Woman in a Window said...

um, Joe, I am less than 5'5". I'm uh em, 5'4".

Thu Dec 11, 02:24:00 PM 2008  

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