Oh Christmas Tree

The oversized tree was up and decorated. Bright lights. Colorful Christmas ornaments. The family heirloom from my grandmother place in the middle. Anintricate angle doll sits on the tippy top of the tree. Everything was done with the tree that day around noon. Dec 26th. You read that correctly. The day after the great present explosion, we finally finished getting the tree put up. Why bother completing a task the day after the due date? If we couldn't get the tree ready in 364 days, why still do it? That is where the wisdom of children comes in.

My daughter, baby girl, is a whole 5 yrs. old. Old enough to write a Christmas wish list, make cookies for Santa, and help decorate a tree. Doing the tradition of putting a tree up was on my to-do list, but not really near the top. Two days before Christmas, I finally stayed home long enough to clear out the space and put the tree up. Being that I am a husband and color blind, I opt not to get involved in the details of what goes where on the tree. But despite starting, we never finished. And since baby girl had actually slept over at her aunt's Christmas eve, it seemed like we were facing a year where we missed the Christmas tree standard.

"So, daddy, can I help decorate the Christmas tree tomorrow?" Of all the things I expected to hear her say on Christmas, that wasn't one of them. Has anyone ever asked you to keep going when you already stopped? You set a goal, you missed the mark, and now someone is looking at you saying "Keep going!" As we make our way through life, we stumble and fall at times. It only becomes failure when we don't get back up.

And so, we made time. Amid the hustle and bustle of opening more presents, learning to ride a new bike, and drinking hot coco, the tree was finished. My daughter never stops amazing me. An ordinary day with my kid, reminds me of the extraordinary life lesson of how to keep on, keeping on.

About the Author  

NICK BASKERVILLE has had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 10 years, followed by 4 years in the United States Air Force Reserves. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6). Nick also has 16 years of fire service time, with 13 years of that being in a career department in Northern Virginia. Nick has had the opportunity to hold positions in the Company Officer's section of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association (VFCA), The Virginia Fire Officer's Academy (VFOA) staff, and in the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) as a chapter president, a Health and Wellness committee member, and one of the IABPFF representatives to the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance.