What Will you Hang on Your Tree

December 23, 2015

I don’t celebrate Christmas but I’ve always enjoyed all things a little overblown and cheesy about the Christmas holiday. In essence, I love all of the secular parts of Christmas that celebrate the silliness, the joy, the wonder, and the connection of the holiday found in songs, movies, TV shows, and christmas light displays.

So naturally, I’m watching TV with Milly because I’m exhausted and trying to get some work done, but Milly wants me to be with her. One of my least favorite kids cartoons comes on, Max and Ruby.

Ordinarily, I can’t stand this show. Ruby, the older sister rabbit, is a little bossy and uptight. She’s a little bit of a control freak. She likes things done her way. Max is the younger brother rabbit. He is always undermining Ruby. Max is playful and messy and likes to disturb Ruby’s pristine status quo. Max is usually the character who comes up with the solution to the “conflict” of the episode. Ruby becomes exasperated with Max, but always at the end of the episode, realizes that he was right after all.

It’s a little anti-feminist. It also might hit a little close to home.

Anyway, in this particular episode, they are decorating their Christmas tree. Ruby wants to decorate the tree with traditional decorations like pretty ornaments, a popcorn chain, icicles, and tinsel. Max wants to decorate the tree with his toys. Ruby tells him he’s being ridiculous. Toys don’t belong on Christmas trees, silly! We put beautiful things on the Christmas tree.

Everytime Ruby hangs an ornament or tinsel, she exclaims, “BEAUTIFUL.”

Max gets wise pretty quickly and starts hanging his toys on the tree, saying “BEAUTIFUL” for each toy.

You can see where this is going, right? Ruby is horrified. But when they need a topper for the tree, she can’t put the star on top without knocking the tree over so Max uses his remote control helicopter to put a pinwheel on top of the tree instead. Ruby says, “Oh Max. That’s perfect.” Max wins. As usual.

But here’s the thing…in this episode, he’s right. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One persons beauty is another persons ugly, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. These differences in perception and value are what make this world so interesting. It’s part of what makes each of us so unique.

I think it’s also worthwhile to consider what is of value to others, that we don’t value in the same way. The inability to see the things we do share, even within the differences, is at the root of all division, all conflict, all of the challenges that we face worldwide as humans.

It’s up to us to create our own beauty. Our own magic. Our own inspiration. And then hang it proudly on the tree without feeling the need to tear someone else’s decoration down. The more authentic, the better. What you choose to hang on the tree of your heart represents what you find beautiful, magical, and inspiring. It tells a story. Your story.

As we enter the last 2 weeks of 2015, what will you hang on your tree?

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