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The Tree

If we have a leisurely Thanksgiving weekend, my family likes to take a few days to decorate the tree. For some reason, my kids love to take turns decorating the tree with their own unique style. My geek-son decorates with computer parts, his brother decorates with his tiny stuffed animals, and my daughters decorate with ribbons and what-nots. Each tree design is photographed and then we do the real decorating.

At first, it was hard for me to sit back and let the kids decorate in their asymmetrical, unbalanced fashion. I used to sit on my hands and try offering up suggestions. Now, I string the lights and let everyone have at it while I offer up only smiles and compliments. How did I get over my perfectionist streak?

I didn’t.

I wait until they’re in bed and then I straighten it. Not so much that they notice it the next morning, but enough to make me feel better. Memories of decorating for Christmas are more pleasant than memories of mom and her OCD.

Usually, the decorating begins on Friday afternoons and culminates with a cold plate of summer sausage, cheeses, olives, etc. Daddy is working overtime this Black Friday, so we're all giddy with anticipation as we prepare for our Decorating Night on Saturday night. The kids were drooling as I tucked them in, far too excited about gherkin pickles than any child should ever be.

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"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo