Every December we get a fresh Noble Fir tree. All the other decorations around the house—the wreaths and stockings and mercury candleholders—are second to the pine boughs glistening in the front window. It’s the official start to the Christmas season for the Lee family.

In years past, I’ve had grand visions of the most beautiful tree, decorated to perfection right out of a Home for the Holidays magazine. But as our family unwrapped all the handmade glitter macaroni ornaments from Tobey and Raegan’s elementary school days and Josh’s beloved Star Wars heroes and wooden horses and mini nutcrackers hanging on faded string, I’ve had to let that fantasy go. It’s worth it so that the magic of Christmas can shine bright in the hearts of my family members.

Then comes the year 2020. It’s a completely different kind of year, a whole new approach to decorating for Christmas. Our tree was delivered to our front door (thanks Nani and Papa), and for the first time I didn’t have a preference. Of course, I’d seen plenty of beautiful trees scrolling Instagram, perfectly decorated trees posted weeks before Thanksgiving I might add, a no-no in our house. But this year it felt right to take a break from striving for the perfect tree.

My teenage son ended up decorating the entire thing. It’s gorgeously simple, a tree right out of Little House on the Prairie… which is my jam for sure. When I gave up the reins and let Tobey drive the wagon, the expectation for perfection disappeared. Every time I sit by our tree, I’m reminded how good it feels to be free from the grasping and striving. Free from the visions of perfection and expecting everything around me to measure up to a spread in Magnolia Journal. As if it ever could?

This Christmas, could you use a break?

From the pressure.

From the expectations.

From the stress of performing.

From the things that don’t matter so that you can focus on what truly does.

Faith. Family. Fun.

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