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K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-Untangle the Tinsel

Posted: December 14, 2015

December 14, 2016I realize when I talk about tinsel on Christmas trees it’s in the same category as VHS and Pac man. Tinsel holds a special place in my heart because in our home the execution of tinsel had to be done perfectly. No more than three or four strands on the end of each branch, and if you don’t have the patience for that; well then go and finish your apple cider.

But we had a dog. A big dog named Brutus! I can’t recall the many times we came home from an event to find our magnificent tree on the floor. A tangled mess of bulbs, candy canes, lights and oh the tangled tinsel. Trying to untangle tinsel left our family frustrated and snapping at each other. “Who left the dog on the house anyway?” “Who is going to clean up this mess?” “Come on you guys, everyone has to help!” I’m so grateful that generation outgrew tinsel, but now we have other Christmas frustrations.

Recently while I was in Costco browsing the aisles I stumbled across a husband and wife having “Christmas words” with each other. They had their cart placed so that I could not pass without interrupting. I couldn’t go backwards. I was stuck. They were arguing over Christmas decorations and presents.

Wife – “I just want everything to look nice.”

Husband – “It looks fine the way it is, we don’t need this.”

Wife – “But it doesn’t cost much and it would look so good on…”

Husband – “You’re making too much out of Christmas, let’s just keep it simple.”

The argument got heated and they were so intent on solving their Christmas issues they didn’t notice as I squeezed through. Secretly and silently I was cheering for the husband. Years ago I learned the hard way that we need to listen to our husbands when they chastise us for going overboard at Christmas. But I was just trying to make everything beautiful and I wanted everything to be perfect for Christmas morning.For years I was exhausted, frustrated and lost the beauty of the days leading up to Christmas. I know in some families it’s the men that go overboard, so we need to listen to each other.

Trying to make Christmas perfect is as hard and messy as trying to untangle tinsel. Emotions get heated, sharp words are spoken, we spend too much money and we loose the sweetness of the moments. It has taken me years to make Christmas simple. This year we will have a house full of family over the entire holidays. I am as excited about their visit as I was at the age of ten waiting for my new pair of skates. So far the decorations are up, but there is not a single present under the tree. The grocery-shopping list is being complied and meals are being arranged, but the focus is to be together and enjoy each other. To laugh. Slide in the snow. Put together puzzles. Go bowling. Do paint by numbers. There is a small undecorated Christmas tree in the family room area that needs to be made beautiful. I have popcorn and cranberries for stringing, old Christmas cards for decorations but no tinsel. We just need to keep it simple and not have to untangle any messes.

The night Christ was born in the manager the Heavenly Hosts sang out: “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” May this be your story this Christmas.Simple is beautiful.


Posted in: adversity, Balancing life, Christmas, Conflict, Expectations, Good Marriage, happy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Peace, Pleasure, Simple, smart, Tension, untangle

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