Every year, my family goes to cut down our own tree. We fight over which tree to get, trudge up hills, and are tempted to chop a head off instead of a tree down. We go to eat pizza after, and then go home and decorate the tree, usually while watching some family favorite Christmas movie and drinking Hot Chocolate.
As my sister and I grew up, we became the ones putting up the lights and decorating the tree. Last night, it was just the two of us. Is a family tradition still a family tradition if your whole family doesn't do it?
The worst part was when I found out it was my turn to do the angel. "Ugh, I don't want to. Sarah can do it." "No! I don't want to!" Years before, Sarah and I would fight over who dad lifted up so she could put on the angel. My mom would put it on the calendar whose turn it was so we wouldn't fight. It was the best thing in the world. Now... not so much. As I stood on a chair and put our ancient angel on the top of the tree, all I could think about was how much it hurt basically standing inside a Christmas tree and how ugly the angel was. This morning, I realized how sad that made me. One of my favorite things about Christmas had become one of my least favorite.
I like to think of myself as a kid at heart, but last night, it showed me that no matter how hard I try NOT to grow up, it's going to happen. This led to many questions: Will I still want to wake up early on Christmas morning? Will I be as excited opening my stocking and eating candy right away? Will I forget the joy of Christmas?
Even at seventeen, I was waking up at 6, and looking in my stocking. There's something about Christmas morning that makes me so happy. What if I become one of those cranky teenagers who would rather sleep?
This time next year, I'm going to be stressing over finals. This was probably our last time getting the tree, all four of us. And that makes me so sad. My parents probably aren't going to want to cut down the tree next year, so we'll probably get a pre-cut one. That's okay... but we've maybe only done that once.
It's official. The worst part about growing up isn't leaving home or figuring out what you want to do. The worst part about growing up is outgrowing the magic of Christmas.