Wishing I Didn’t Get a Wish Bracelet

December 29th, 2019

Lesson learned about gifting a 5-year-old a wish bracelet. It’s an adorable little macrame item with rainbow beads and a built-in whimsical theme: make a wish when you put it on, and when it falls off, your wish will come true.


When I was an adult full of whimsy myself, I made such a wish bracelet at a workshop, and wore it until it shredded off my wrist weeks or months later. My wish did eventually come true. Probably a coincidence. 

But for a 5-year-old who is not patient and doesn’t understand the nature of wishes, this is an epically flawed construct. Eliza put hers on with a very emphatic wish, then proceeded to tug and scratch at it until it fell off a day later. Problem is, her wish: 

I wish the Christmas tree would come alive and live forever.

Lots of angst over this one. And in total opposition to my own wish for the tree. As much as I love it, the day it’s “out of season,” I desperately wish it would evaporate without a trace.

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There’s something about the Christmas tree that makes it look so magical and cozy before Christmas. My heart fills with joy every time I glance at the besparkled thing. But the day Christmas is over, suddenly, it occurs to me I have a giant, dead, pine-needle-shedding ACTUAL TREE in my house covered with mountains of meticulously hung garbage toys. Sure, every single one of them has intense and priceless nostalgic value — many of them dating back to my own childhood, or Jon’s — but let’s face it, insurance wouldn’t cover this stuff.

Worse, they each have to be carefully pried loose from the tree and put away in the right box, labelled, so when I dig them out again next year to start this insane ritual all over again, it’s minimally confusing and stressful. After all, it was only about three weeks ago that I experienced the traumatic Christmas-tree-decorating nightmare with small children. The memory is pretty fresh.

Oh let’s not forget the Christmas-tree stand, that loathsome, under engineered hunk of plastic and screws circa the mid-century. It nearly breaks up my marriage every year, and I spend several nights in a twitchy state of acute OCD about the angle of the tree until resignation sets in to the “imperfect” nature of Christmas.

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Soon, undoubtedly, I will strip every object off this tree in a fit of Virgo pique and dramatically shove the thing out the side door of our living room, where it will languish, leaning against the side of the house, for months. But for now, I sit here on this, the fourth morning after Christmas, enjoying the glow from the pellet stove on the trinkets hung from highly flammable branches and savor the memories of this Christmas one last time.

What I’m eating:

The sugar extravaganza is nearing to a close as we approach the much-needed, most pious time of year: January. Actually looking forward to all the kale and celery I will no doubt impose upon myself, at this point. I think even my kids are sick of sugar. The other day, in the car, Phoebe whined, “I don’t feel good. I need vegetables!” That’s my girl.

What I’m reading:

The Tiger’s Wife

What I’m listening to:

Loved loved loved this Modern Love story about heartbreak and healing.

What I’m working on:

Well, nothing! I took a week off with my daughters. It’s been glorious.


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2 Responses to “Wishing I Didn’t Get a Wish Bracelet”

  1. Kathy says:

    I laughed out loud. You truly summed up my Christmas feelings over the years. And you’re a terrific mom. Great post!

  2. Riana says:

    I am so down to take this tree out of my living room. I could not agree more. And yes the wish bracelet is a hard one!

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