Monday, December 6, 2010


This weekend was Christmas tree weekend.  I was anxious about how the tree hunt and decorating might go.  Marc loved Christmas and loved nothing more than finding the perfect (enormous) tree and decorating it.  He was Clark Griswold in real life.  So, as the weekend approached I was apprehensive about our emotions and more than that...the logistics of finding, setting up, and decorating the tree.

Saturday was beautiful.  We joined John and Sheila and their crew at our favorite Christmas tree farm.  I found the perfect tree in about two minutes; however, my children are genetically related to their father, and it took them a good half hour to find something suitable in their eyes.  John and Sheila were patient as my boys took on Marc's role of cutting the tree.  They are doing their best to be the men of the house.  They  took turns using the saw to cut it down.  A half hour later, we were able to shout "timber" in unison.  We found John and Sheila's tree in about a nano-second and then headed to our house for lunch.  After lunch, John and Sheila were kind enough to heave the tree into my living room and set it up in the stand.  I am so blessed by good friends!  I could have never done this on my own!  We would have had to settle for a much, much smaller tree if I had been on my own.  Having a large tree has always been a family tradition for us and the kids were very concerned that we would no longer be able to maintain the tradition without Dad.

Sunday we began the process of untwining and decorating the tree.  The mood was subdued for most of the morning.  There were a few delighted moments as they discovered favorite decorations and, of course, when we finally lit the tree the first time; however, on the whole, the day was pretty serious.  I felt that we were all going through the motions.  We knew what we had to do, but our heart wasn't in it.  It wasn't unpleasant, but it certainly wasn't the hyper, crazy fun that we have enjoyed in years past.  In my heart I knew that this would likely happen, but the reality really of it all struck me as the day progressed.

By bedtime we were all a wreck.  The kids had held it together as much as they could, but couldn't maintain any longer.  There were lots of tears, arguing, and tantrums.  The boys admitted that they weren't really looking forward to much about Christmas this year.  For them it's something to get through and it just isn't the same.

My inclination as their mom is to fix it for them.  I tried to rack my brain for things that would make this season, this Christmas, something positive and fun.  I even asked them what would make it better.  I was met with incredulous stares.  I knew the answer myself and felt foolish for even uttering the words.  I should know better.  Nothing can fix this.  There is no gift, no distraction,  that can make this Christmas as joyful as those past.  And, that's okay.  Tis the season for grieving.  I'm not trying to be clever there, it's just the truth.  We are in the grieving process and this year is likely to hold more tears and disappointment.  It's our first Christmas without Marc.  It's going to be hard.

The good news is I am confident that this grief will lead to something positive.  As I sit here in my office I am looking at the nativity scene on the piano.  That first Christmas gave us all hope.  The birth of a baby, that would grow to be a man, that would die for all of us to have life eternal.  Now there is something to think on!  So, as I sit here moping, I am reminded of all of God has done for us.  As hard as this time is for us, He gave us the most amazing gift: Hope.  And, maybe, that's how God will see us through this Christmas.  Maybe I don't have to think about how to fix any of this for kids...or myself.  Maybe...just maybe...a baby in manger is enough. 

We found it...finally!

All the kids working hard to cut down the tree...

Sophia helps John trim up the stump...

Martin making the job easier :)  What a good sport, John!

Sheila!  You are a tree hugger!
John and Sheila helping me get the monster in the stand.

The untwining process.  Yikes!
My big helper!


With love and gratitude....


  1. To the Griffiths:
    Congratulations on picking an absolutely beautiful Christmas tree! I'll bet your home smells "pine-y and Christmas-y." The photos are great!!

    My prayers continue for you as a family--and individuals--knowing that our Lord is walking personally with each of you daily and guiding you along this new pathway.

    Thank you for sharing your honest feelings and recognizing that many times life is what it is. These are anything but easy times for you, I know. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and accept the good times as they come to you.

    With love & hugs,

  2. Wow! What a tree! Congratulations on such an amazing job! We are proud of you all for continuing on in the traditions this year! It is beyond "Not easy" and you guys are doing a really great job! Thank God that he is not looking over us and expecting every year to "feel" blessed. He loves us through our grief and weeps along with us as we remember better times. They will come again.
    We love you guys! Matt, Anna, and boys (Ben, Elliot, Christian, and Gideon)