Trees and Giving

There were two years we couldn’t afford a tree. The year my daughter was two she didn't mind the plastic tree with missing limbs (propped strategically in the corner and filled in with extra tinsel). But the year she was about eight the antique mini hand-me-down from my dad did not thrill her, and she refused to participate in decorating. (We call it The Divorced Years Tree, as it stood on the bar in my dad’s smoky apartment, decorated by my sisters and I, in the years following our parent's split.)

Now that my daughter is an adult it is appropriate and ironic that she has The Divorced Years Tree in her apartment. She still loves the live trees with branches and smells that fill our living room and this year requested that we leave the tree undecorated until she can help with the ornaments on the night before Christmas Eve.

Christmas is ten days away, and at work we are finishing up shopping for the family we adopted. Last night I shopped for the mom. I have a soft spot for single moms and I remember well the generosity of others while I raised my daughter alone. Single moms everywhere struggle to normalize their children's lives, and too few of them have time or resources for occasional self-pampering.  There are opportunities all around us to make someone else's Christmas a little nicer.


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