Baloney Holiday Havoc

Our tree looked like sh%t and it made my heart sing. Seriously. Isn’t it funny how the oddest symbolism will punch you right in the eye? Or put more eloquently….pull at the old heartstrings.

I did not even capture one photo of this Baloney creation. I honestly could not bear to do so. It was that atrocious. The tree itself was a stunning beaut, a Norwegian stunner that needed a little trimming to bring it in to the realm of perfection, then we turned the kids loose. They chose big bulb vintage lights and doused it with every handmade creation and sentimental ornament known to man and then some. My baby Christmas photo even made a cameo appearance (facepalm). This child created monstrosity-our teen mostly opted out and decked the halls in her own room, which was gorgeous and even had yours truly drooling- had these young artisans beaming with pride! Keep in mind that all four of these girls are creative and artistic, so the littles HAD to each add their own flair to the tree. Flair they did.

I spotted all three of them, at separate times, throughout the season gawking in utter adoration at their self-created festivity. We hosted SO many times throughout this season-which I LOVE-and they were engaged like never before, we had a greetings and coat squad, special Christmas trampoline performances, not to mention the AA we will need for the hot cocoa addictions.

Now that “Bruce,” they also named the tree, has met his demise, my heart aches with the realization that I never captured the mess, strike that….bliss.

This Christmas was the most uneventful we have had as a family, and as you WELL know that is a rarity in this blended life and headed in to the Holiday Season I was dreading like no other and considering my options in fleeing.

What did we do differently this year? We let go. Our actual Christmas was a rushed one hour experience on Christmas morning, chock full of laughter and crazy golden doodle antics, he, of course, thought the entire celebration was for him. Due to scheduling conflicts, Mike and I attended our traditional family Christmases separately. Reconvening Christmas evening for our “real” anniversary, champagne flowing and fire blazing. Maybe Christmas isn’t about locality, rigid traditions, timing, or even a specific day. We let the girls open some gifts early and did the annual 5 Below trip where they are granted $30 each to spend on whomever they see fit. Friends, other family members, Jesus….whomever. The youngest had $45 in items just for Buster, the doodle. We are making our own traditions as we go along and perhaps the name of the game for our Baloney Family custom is individuality, fluidity and no rules on exactly how or when “Christmas” needs to be.

Photo Cred-Mike Maloney