Concerning Kids – Where is the peace of the Christmas season?


Christian Life

Anna Gnatyshyna, CNE.news

Ukrainians decorate a Christmas tree with angels. Photo EPA, Sergey Dolzhenko

The hardest part of parenting is teaching kids about the even distribution of ornaments on the Christmas tree. My dear friend Alexandra has never been able to teach it her three little kids. When Christmas season comes, she starts to feel desperate about the Christmas tree, the ornaments, and well… her kids.

Alexandra’s husband has a great sense of humor that helps him survive the season. Several years ago, he used to tell kids that they had invisible Christmas tree, and it worked! Now he misses the days kids were that young. Later he suggested his wife to get a huge cactus instead of Christmas tree, so that kids don’t mess with it.

I don’t have kids at home, so nobody messes with my Christmas tree. It is always perfect. But, on the other hand, it is too quiet. Once my friends’ kid was left unattended for 5 minutes while visiting my house, so he had “flocked” my Christmas tree with flour that he found in my kitchen. Well, the tree looked “refreshed”. When guests left, I spent all evening cleaning “the snow”.

Magic time

It is always a battle about how to decorate the Christmas tree. All families I know fall into two categories: either harshly control every single tree ornament and shout at kids, or let kids do it their way, but later quietly re-organise the decorations. It is rather hard to let the kids decorate it the way they want and not to feel embarrassed when guests come. Many of us believe that guests who come to our houses silently judge our Christmas tree decorations.

Annual Christmas tree arguments become an essential part of every family’s Christmas season. But for children, this is a magic time when they get excited about decorations and presents. However, as the time flies by, the children turn into teenagers who hate everything and fight everything, and then they have to be threatened before they help you decorate the Christmas tree.


I believe that part of adulthood’s problem is that our daydreaming differs from the reality, and it hurts. The picture in our head projects the perfect Christmas tree and relaxing Christmas atmosphere as it happens in movies. But life presents us with kids messing with the ornaments, cats throwing over the tree, much hustle and running around, more meals to prepare and long noisy days. Well, that is our Christmas season, real life Christmas season.

I am writing this, while located in Kyiv, Ukraine. All holidays became special for us, as we celebrate every holiday as possibly being the last one. War challenges us to re-value our priorities and celebrate life. We celebrate Christmas, let kids ruin the perfect picture in our head, as we enjoy Christmas hustle and celebrate that we still have each other.

Our houses are not museums where others do not live. Our Christmas trees are not meant to be pictured for commercials. Let children and cats ruin it but do celebrate life and enjoy the presence of your loved ones.



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