Last night I was missing those days when my husband was much more involved in decorating for Christmas, back when it was just me and him. The kids and I were having a fun time doing most of it--in fact, we didn't really need him since I was directing and the kids were decorating. I was grateful when one kid took over decorating the banister, one took over arranging the little Christmas village, one kept the two-year-old away from the glass decorations, and two others placed my old, worn-out decorations in clever places.
Hubby was happy to not be too involved. His real expertise comes when we get the (expensive) fresh tree (at his insistence) and he has to tie it on the car, cut off the bottom, and haul it in the house to place it in the stand and then wrap strands of lights and garland all around it. That's his baby.
I mentioned to his mother that I had thought fondly of the days when it was just us. She said those days will be back soon enough. My mother- and father-in-laws' children are grown and long gone. She told me how the two of them had set up their Christmas tree earlier in the week. They have never had a beautiful, color-coordinated Christmas tree. Theirs, like mine, is a hodgepodge of ornaments made by the children, purchased on vacation, or given to us by friends. She called it a Memory Tree, and told me how she and her husband cried yesterday as they pulled out all the 'memories' and placed them lovingly on their tree. From now on I will think more kindly of my mismatched Memory Tree.
And I will (and do!) treasure the time my husband and I have now with our children. I look forward to the traditional evening where we read the Christmas story and hand the nativity pieces to the children to place on the piano. I will love going to pick out a Christmas tree as a family and handing 'memories' to the children to place on the tree. I am thankful for my children and for the many memories we are creating now that will fill the lonelier times later.