Christmas is around the corner. Well, it sure feels that way in Manila. The malls have been decorated for weeks and everywhere you turn you hear Christmas music or see Santa Claus and there is constant talk of where people are going for vacation.
Suffice it to say, I succumbed to all the Christmas hoopla and went and got a Christmas tree this weekend. The mall we went to had dozens and dozens of trees decorated in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. Fat, frosty white trees; trees with lavender and pink ornaments; trees studded with thick silver branches. Since no one seems to buy real trees (not that they would last the 2-3 months people have them up anyways) and since I donated mine on Freecycle before we moved, we had to go buy another one. I settled on a 6-foot tree, ice blue lights, silver and rose-colored balls and a silver and white ribbon to wrap around it.
A few nights ago Coco and I set out to assemble our tree.
She was so excited to help me and she actually did a great job! She is so strong and so smart that I often underestimate what she can actually do.
After we assembled it she told me the tree was sad because he didn’t have any lights so we moved him into his spot and got to work on wrapping him up with lights. It was so much fun doing this, just the two of us with the yaya having the night off. It reminded me off all the time we used to have together back in the States and I realized that I really, really miss it. I decided right then and there that I was going to make 1 on 1 time more of a priority from now on.
As the Christmas music was playing from my laptop in the background, Coco and I added lights to our little tree. She danced around to The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Canon as I fought back tears of what I dream Christmas to be. I am glad we live abroad and we are having this amazing life experience but I also yearn for the whole Norman Rockwell all-American life. You know, the one with the large house, doting husband, siblings for Coco, the dog and the family traditions that come with celebrating holidays together as a this family in my dreams. Sigh. I’m grateful, I really truly am, but I still hope we can have that one day..
But I snapped out of that pretty quickly because it was really a lot of fun and no point in ruining the moment with my issues. Ha! We danced to more music and then bedtime rolled round so we called it a night. Coco gave the tree a kiss before she went to bed.
She loves pink so these balls were a bit of a compromise. Shocking bright pink ornaments weren’t going to make it onto the tree, but a muted rose color I could do. 🙂 Hey, I actually think they are a nice change from your basic red and gold. She set to work at hanging the balls. My job was to tie the string on them and her job was to find a place to put them. Yeah, they’re all congregated in one area (except for two high ones she put on when I lifted her up) but I kind of like it that way. She took her job very seriously.
The tree is up the earliest I have ever had it but we leave for Christmas vacation in three weeks so we still have plenty of time to enjoy it. I love how it looks at night. Tree lights sparkling inside and city lights sparkling outside. We may not have snow but it’s nice. When we finished decorating it Coco wanted to dance and do somersaults before going to bed. We rarely hang out in the living room and now it’s a cozy place to be. When it was time for bed I told Coco to say good night to the tree. She waved and told me the tree was happy.
And then she kissed him good-night.