Last year I told you about my father-in-law’s tradition of getting a terrible Christmas tree. Sadly this year he told me to write about redemption as he had found a tree without fault this time round!
While my perfectionist nature would not let me select a faulty one to fuel another blog post, the tree that I did pick has given me another thought…
I set out with the kids to select a six foot conifer, but after rejecting the first two presented to me (told you I was picky) we decided on an opulent seven footer. It looked like the most perfect tree I had ever seen. Outside on the footpath. Once up, it became clear that we would have to move house, or at the very least, lose most of the living room furniture. Oops.
We (read husband) did fit it in eventually and it is astounding to behold. Looking at it half an hour ago, I realised that it had given me something to write about; it is this one word: extravagance. Often it has negative connotations, but not this time. Surely, rather than overspending on forgettable objects for our loved ones, we could try being generous with other things. Park all the stuff you want to say, and be extravagant in the listening ear you lend to somebody else. I learned recently that listening is not about just waiting in silence for a gap to speak yourself. Treating another person’s words as precious is a valuable gift to offer. Or how about not stopping with one rushed head pat per day for your children but hugging them so much they can’t forget your love for them. Sharing a funny story with a person in a dark place is also a gift, especially if it makes them laugh until their stomach hurts.
None of these tiny acts cost anything but love. And that can be given without limit. So go on, try some extravagance this Christmas. Just be sure to measure up your tree space before you buy it.