Every year I found myself stressing out over the decorating of the tree. As much as I wanted it to be a special bonding time with my children, I dreaded how ugly I knew it would look when it was done. No offense, but they just don't have an eye for making things pretty. They just throw on ornaments at random. I would snap at them for not being more thoughtful about it. And after they'd go to bed I'd stay up and rearrange it.

This year I haven't even had time to think about decorating the tree, let alone police how it's done. But my kids have their cousins in town and they leave tomorrow back to Las Vegas. They really wanted to decorate the tree, but I still had work to finish. So I gave the green light for them to go to town hanging ornaments.

The absolute joy I could hear from the living room while sitting in my office was the ultimate soundtrack as I finished up mundane tasks. I also heard the shatter of a Christmas ball and my toddler was screaming over cutting his finger. But even that turned into a cutie moment with my niece and Mom getting him bandaged up. He was giggling in no time.

When I walked out to see the finished product I couldn't even be mad at the disheveled mess they considered decoration. Sure, it's ugly, but it's also the visual representation of the joyful noise the process evoked from the kids. I'll take that over perfect. And now I know next year I won't have to lift a finger. This is the new tradition. Ugly trees for the win!

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