What an $18 Fake Christmas Tree Taught Me About Saying Yes


When my kids ask for something, I usually say no.

That’s because they ask for things like candy and screen time and new stuff and candy and things that are just completely unreasonable and also candy. Undeterred by the frequent no, they continue to ask for these things a lot. And because I try to keep treats and electronic brain-numbing to a healthy moderation, it seems like I am forever and always saying no.
But all of that changed on an impromptu trip to Big Lots.
Every year these kids of mine beg for a Christmas tree in their room and every year I think to myself, That is so totally unneccessary. Kids with their own personal Christmas trees? It’s a testimony to American consumerism and privileged kids run amuck. My kids have plenty. I will not add to their ruin by indulging them with their own personal Christmas trees.
Yet two weeks ago I found myself unloading two four-foot Christmas trees from the Big Lots shopping cart into my van. A pre-lit green one for the boys’ room and a pre-lit white one for my girl.I’m not sure what happened. But I think it had something to do with Barbie Dream House regret and my kids growing up too fast and thinking about how they’ll anticipate getting these trees down from the attic every year and falling asleep each December amid the glow of twinkle lights.

I called my husband from the parking lot and said, You will not believe what I just bought.
I picked the boys up from school and told them what I had in the trunk. Fifteen minutes of squeals and delight later, we were unboxing a kid-size tree and decorating it with their homemade ornaments and plugging in the lights.
My daughter got home late that evening from youth group. It just so happened that they’d crafted cute little ornaments and I said, Oh, I have just the place for that snowman ornament.
When she walked into her room and saw the white tree with the glittery pink bow at the top, she resembled a just-crowned Miss America, hands cupped over her mouth and shaking with happy disbelief, eyes as big as saucers. All she needed was a sash and a crooked tiara.
I guess Christmas came early.
Every day they are loving their trees. So inspired by the $18 white sparkly tree, my daughter has commenced to making her digs ever merrier. She raided the leftover Christmas decor and her room is bedazzled in tinsel and lights from top to bottom. And my littlest son keeps finding trinkets to add to his toppling fake evergreen.I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve thanked me for the trees.

Sometimes love looks like saying no to Twizzlers because they need to eat their veggies.And sometimes love looks like a four-foot tree from the Big Lots Christmas aisle.

/////This post is linked up to “Tuesdays Unwrapped” with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky. Join us as we “take the time to unwrap the small, secret gift of the everyday.”

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  1. says

    Delightful! :)
    I loved having the soft light in a small corner of my kid’s rooms with their own ornaments, tucking them in at night by tree-lights. And the tradition lives on with my two grandsons.

  2. says

    How fun! Our kids felt the same way last year when I brought home boxes of colored lights just for their rooms. I think they would pass out if I brought trees next. Way to go, Mama. They will remember this Yes forever!

  3. says

    The way you turn a “yes” or a “no” into a life-lesson is breathtaking . . . and tear-producing! Beautiful post. Beautiful lesson.



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