They’d had the little lighted colored tree for four years. The switch flipped on and the glitter and some sort of liquid spin up and around as the colors changed from white to blue to green to red to yellow.
My mother purchased it and set it on their dresser.
The three of them used to share the same room so only one tree was needed.
Year after year I pulled the little tree out of the Christmas boxes and turned it on to the oohs and aahs of the ever growing trio.
I told the boys, whose room it was located in this year (the first Christmas for little bit to have her own room), to keep their hands off the tree because it would break. To no avail. They climbed up their headboard and reached over to the dresser and grabbed the little tree. The star broke off the top.
And then last week.
The baby somehow managed to knock it off the dresser altogether as it went plummeting behind his bed, hitting the wall.
I heard the thunk and went running.
He climbed behind the bed and as soon as he picked it up the glittery liquid spewed all over the carpet.
I had a bad parenting moment. I yelled that I’d told him dozens of times to keep his hands off and this is exactly why. Look at what happened. I stormed off, bringing back towels for him to leave on the greasy glittery mess, and left again. I knew immediately it was the wrong move. The baby is sensitive and was likely already heart-broken over the shattered tree they all loved. My reaction was unnecessary and inappropriate. So I walked back in. I got down on my knees and put my arms around his head buried in the pillow and said, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled. It will be alright.” He burst into tears, sobbing and heaving and gulping out, “How will it be alright? It’s BROKEN!” He was beside himself. Through the thick of the tears he offered his forgiveness to me for yelling and I offered him forgiveness for breaking a rule, and the tree.
Normally, I would never replace it. He broke the rules and the tree and this was the consequence. But it’s Christmas. And that night we both needed some grace.
So I ran some wacky Google searches, turning up nothing for lighted water tree, or tree like snow globe, or any other crazy search terms. Then I went to Amazon and LOW AND BEHOLD the exact tree my mom purchased four years ago was staring me in the face. I could not believe it. Total God thing.
When it arrived two nights ago, I decided that Cookie (our Elf on the Shelf, it’s the first year attempting this tradition with only intermediate success) could deliver the tree with a note. Cookie could deliver some grace. He wrote:
I saw how upset you were when your light tree broke. So tonight I asked Santa to let me bring you a new one. Then only rule is you can’t touch the tree, just like you can’t touch me. Love, Your Friend, Cookie the Elf
PS We brought something for your sister’s room too.
I don’t know what’s broken in your house tonight. I don’t know what Christmas plans ran amuck or who got sick or whose maximum amount of sleep the past week has been four hours in any given night. I know there’s grace this Christmas season. We’re showing a little in this house. And God showed a whole lot of it one cold Christmas nights over 2,000 years ago.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1