The "Honey-Do List" in this house is quite long. In the interest of preserving marital bliss, I won't share it with you here. Let's just say that "Honey" started a new job just before the baby arrived and he's been working and traveling enough for two men ever since. That is the segue to revealing that (drumroll, please): The Foss Family Christmas Tree still stands proudly in my family room on this seventh day of February!
There was a time in the life of my marriage when I would have actually written that "Honey Do" list and I would have oh-so-carelessly left it lying around. Or, I would have invited his mother to dinner, knowing that he wouldn't want her to see the tree in the corner. Or, I would have pouted and moped and complained about (1)the fact that he was gone and/or (2)the fact that the tree is annoying my sense of order. Neither #1 or #2 does me or anybody else much good. It's wasted energy and does nothing to contribute to the atmosphere around here. His mother isn't coming to dinner any time soon. And the last thing the poor, overworked man needs is another list of things to do.
There was later time in my life when I would have taken it down myself. But I have since learned that some jobs are better left to big, strong men (and I have the scars to prove it). Now, I have a couple of big strong, young men in my house.And both of them offered to take down the tree. But I know my Honey--he wants the tree in the box just so (and rightfully, I might add--trees last longer when they are handled with care and they are far easier to assemble when put away properly). And I know my young men--better not to let them touch the tree. Family harmony next advent is worth far more than freeing up space in that corner of the family room.
So, it stands in my family room, ornaments long since put away. And it reminds me every day of just how hard my husband is working to feed and clothe and shelter and educate this very large family. It stands there and very early in the morning when it's still dark and no one is looking, I turn on the lights and I say prayer for the man who wishes he were home more. I ask God to show us how He'd have us live, which choices He'd have us make. And I thank God for the Honey who chose that tree and who provided for it and for the house where it stands.
So, it only seemed natural on one very cold winter evening, when Honey was still at work long after dinner was done, to turn to those beautiful children and ask them to help me make that tree everything it was meant to be.
We took the pink paper hearts on which we'd written all the things and people we love and rested them firmly on the "God" doily and we hung them on the Daddy Valentine Tree! Martha Stewart, you can have your efficiency calendar that tells us all when to take down the Christmas tree. Mine just became the Tree of Love in this house full of life!