Jayne Gautreau

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November 26, 2013
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Let go of control this Christmas | Moms

Sparkly lights, Christmas music and children's toys in the stores are all a sign that the season is almost upon us. As we prepare for Thanksgiving celebrations we know that Christmas is just around the corner.

I am sure that soon my boys will be asking when we can put up our Christmas tree and decorate the house for the holidays. On the day of decorating, I like to take my time, Christmas music playing in the background and drinking hot chocolate.

I like to make sure that the ornaments are placed evenly on the tree and that the rest of the decorations are put in the right place. How the house looks for Christmas is important to me.

However in the last few years my older two boys have wanted to help with the Christmas decorating. I wasn't very excited about it because I knew it would create a little more mess and craziness than normal.

More importantly it would be done differently than I would do it.

Last year, the boys started to decorate the tree themselves. It was hard for me to let go, but I decided to let them do it and focus on the rest of the living room.

After they were finished I looked over and the ornaments were on the tree, but not the way I would have put them on there. They were not evenly placed; there were some gaps and some places where they were all clumped together.

It looked messy and disorganized in my mind and definitely not a Martha Stewart tree.

I was going to try later to evenly distribute and change things to how I thought it should look, but I got busy and they ended up staying that way.

I guess I wasn't supposed to change things; we got so many comments from people as they stopped by our house, many of them commenting on how beautiful our tree looked.

I was surprised because I thought it looked messy. One part of our tree had lights that didn't even work. People commented and thought it was cool that I let the boys decorate it.

It made me realize how I actually learned a lesson in all of this: I realized how important it was for me to let go of something I would have normally liked to control.

Not interfering in their decorating skills was a valuable lesson in how there are some things we just don't need to control. It taught me a bigger life lesson that when we stop trying to control, others can enjoy a process of learning, including myself.

In letting our boys decorate their way, other people could admire my boys’ creativity.

As I think back to that day, I realized that no one got upset or frustrated. Decorating was enjoyed because mama wasn't getting in the way.

Our kid-decorated tree was appreciated by others. Our boys took pride and joy in decorating it to the best of their ability, so how could I not enjoy it and leave it that way?

This year our youngest son is almost 15 months old, which means he is exploring and very curious. I know our Christmas tree will be quite a novelty to him.

This all adds a totally new dynamic to things again. I pray that the lesson learned from last year will continue to resonate in my heart as the season with its new little challenges rolls around.

Decorating was enjoyed because mama wasn\'t getting in the way.

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The News-Review Updated Dec 1, 2014 11:29AM Published Dec 15, 2014 10:09AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.