Friday, December 07, 2012

On colored lights...

One can learn a lot about oneself just by decorating a Christmas tree.  This year, all but a couple of strings of lights gave up the ghost and I asked the family if we should get white or multi-colored lights.  They unanimously voted for colored lights so off to the store I went.

I wrestled the 600 feet of lighted strands onto the tree and stood back to admire my handiwork (and to check for gaps) and realized I really, really don't like multi-colored lights.  And then I realized why.

When I was growing up, my family was, shall we say, economically challenged.  OK, we were poor.  I didn't really have an understanding of that, but as I grew up, I began to see the differences between my house and other kid's houses, my clothes and their clothes, my one Sunday dress and their endless array of Sunday dresses.  Kids can be cruel.  Teenagers, especially, can be extra vicious.  I did my best to avoid and ignore comments, but some of them bit deep.  And so began the personal quest to be good enough.

Around Christmas time, I noticed that the nicest houses had all white Christmas lights, whereas the trailers, such as mine, had colored lights and somewhere in my head, I began to associate multi-colored lights with being poor and all white lights with class and wealth.  It's weird, I know.  And here it is still, hovering around my 36th Christmas, the same old aversion to appearing different, or less than others, merely by something as simple as Christmas lights. 

So there they sit, my multi-colored lights.  (On a timer so I don't have to scramble under the tree every morning to turn them on.)  The kids flipped out when they saw them, of course.  Judah said, "WOW!  I yike it!" while hopping around.  Cora just sat at the foot of the tree and smiled up at it with shining eyes. And I smiled and did my best to prevent the youngest from pulling the 7 foot monster down on top of himself in his exuberance..  Their joy adds to my joy and I can let go of this association.  Multi-colored lights are beautiful and I am good enough, lovely even.  My tree and house are good enough, lovely even.  It's a process.  


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...