Holiday Guilt

Not at our house!

Not at our house!

I have a confession to make: we do not have a Christmas tree. In fact, of the nine Christmases my husband and I have been together, we have not once gotten a tree. Every year there is a different reason not to get a tree (we’re moving, we’re going to be out of town, the decorations are in the storage unit across town and I’d rather be baking cookies, etc.).

In the back of my mind I’ve always thought that once we had kids we’d have a tree. Well, it’s baby’s first Christmas, and we didn’t get a tree!

This year’s excuse, besides being incredibly busy and not having a place to put a tree, is that we’re spending the night Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and they have a tree. In fact, Frances and I drove out into the woods to help them get the tree a week ago. All the presents are already under the tree at their house. So really, it would be duplicitous to have a tree at home too.

When the guilt sets in, I tell myself she’s too young to appreciate it any way. As if she doesn’t have an obsession over lights and wouldn’t stare at them for hours! The one year she can’t walk over to it and pull off all the ornaments, we don’t have a tree!

I think instead of being guilty, I’ll claim that it’s greener to skip the Christmas tree. There’s one more tree still growing in the local forest, or one less tree trucked in from Oregon. Next year, Franci, I promise we’ll have a tree.  (Just don’t hold me to it!)

This is my holiday guilt confession, what’s yours? Not engaging in Elf on the Shelf? Not baking any cookies? Not buying everything on their list to Santa? Or maybe you’ve decided to skip the Santa charade all together? Dish!


  1. Elizabeth Turnbeaugh says

    Well we do have a tree but we just put it up on Saturday and it has remained decoration free. Who knows maybe it will be an au natural Christmas. We just moved and just haven’t had the time to decorate it, let alone put up any other decisions including stockings. My husband keeps telling me that the tree will be up until Harper’s 1st birthday, which is February 1st, since it took us so long to get it up.

  2. I actually feel guilty that we DID tell the kids the Santa story. Tonight they were so terrified by the idea of Santa coming into our home while they slept that they had to sleep in my bed. We must have done something wrong in the telling of the Santa fable, or maybe they are just a bit on the wimpy side…who knows?

  3. Elizabeth, it sounds like you might start a tradition of a birthday tree!

    JJ, were your kids a little less weary of Santa after they saw all the presents he left for them?

  4. We didn’t have a Christmas tree the first several years we were together, either. Like you, I thought we’d get one when we had kids. We finally got one when Audrey was maybe 3–by then, she could appreciate and enjoy the idea of it.

    We don’t do Elf on the Shelf. Audrey is the only kid in second grade without one (another girl informed her). I had seriously never even heard of it until maybe last year. . . .

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