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How my stuck Christmas tree showed me we have to let go of our past to move forward

The fully decorated Christmas Tree was stuck in the hallway between the front door and the kitchen.  I was dragging it by the branches from the front room to the family room in the back of the house. The tree was easy to move until it got stuck.

My stuck Christmas tree showed me we have to let go of our past to move forward.

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I pulled on the tree branch. The tree didn’t move. I pulled harder and it still didn’t move. Then I braced both feet against the wall and pulled harder, and the tree still didn’t move.

I couldn’t see why the Christmas Tree wasn’t moving. It was sandwiched between both walls. The tree was very wide and the branches were very thick. I ran through the kitchen and the family room to the front door so I could see what was preventing the tree from moving. Was a branch stuck between the rails of the staircase banister?

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The Christmas Tree couldn’t move forward because the Christmas tree lights were stuck on a doorknob.

It didn’t matter that I wanted to pull the tree forward. I could have pulled for days and days and months and months and years and years but the Christmas tree wouldn’t have moved until I unhooked the lights that were caught on the doorknob.

I am the tree stuck in the hallway, unable to move forward because my lights are stuck on a doorknob. And I am the tree trying to move forward, and the lights are my past. The past I don’t want to let go of. I keep looking backward. Why didn’t I do that better? If only I had followed through on the phone call. What was I thinking? I wish I hadn’t gone there. 

The Christmas tree lights have to be unhooked from the doorknob
for the tree to be able to move forward.
And we have to let go of our past to be able to move forward

The lights hooked on the doorknob are like the events in our past that we don’t let go of. Or won’t let go of.

We can’t learn to play the flute because we didn’t do it when we were in grade school. Let go of that thought. If you still want to learn, then buy a flute and learn how to play it.

Just because you haven’t learned how to do something yet doesn’t mean you still can’t. 

You might have something from your past that still hurts you.  Let go of it. Unhook the Christmas tree light, let go of the pain.

Don’t continue to be a victim. Don’t continue to give your past power over your life. Unhook the Christmas tree light and move your tree. Move on. Learn to dance. Sing again.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
– Steve Maraboli

I haven’t. I haven’t. I haven’t. I haven’t called an art gallery yet about representing me. I haven’t illustrated my book yet. I haven’t written about my life in Japan yet. I haven’t cleaned the litter boxes yet.


You haven’t registered for that art class.


You haven’t called and made an appointment with your doctor.


You haven’t recorded a song.


You haven’t draw a picture.


Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.
– Lyndon B. Johnson

You can’t move forward until you let go of the past. You will get stuck, you won’t be able to move. No matter how hard you try you will not be able to move forward until you unhook the Christmas tree lights from your doorknob.

Now is the time to move forward.

It is time to act.


Keep moving forward.

p.s. I moved the Christmas tree to the family room by the fireplace. We weren’t sure that Santa Claus would have found the tree if it wasn’t by the fire. And, good news to report. Santa found the tree.







Is there something in your past you need to let go of? As always I love to hear from you. Please reply in the comments. I hope you all have wonderful last day this year, and a year full of joy and action. May your Christmas tree lights never get stuck on a doorknob. May you always be able to look forward to life with joy and not dwell on the past with sadness.

Love Pamela

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Carol Clark

    Hi Pamela – I was thrilled to discover you and your website tonight. I am a writer, and just starting the very “part-time” life of a painter…! (acrylics). Loved this article, and not to be too serious but I must let go of my brother’s suicide. This happened a long time ago, and even through much therapy (which helps), it still haunts me. I am a fun person, I really am, but that pain and all its “stuff” holds me back, especially on an unconscious level. Like I’m holding onto him somehow. 🙁
    Although amidst it all, I am getting better by the day. Which is amazing for me.
    Thank you for this wonderful Christmas piece.

    • Hello Carol,
      I am delighted to meet you. And, I am so sorry to hear about your brother’s death by suicide. I can’t imagine how painful that would feel.
      Thank you for being honest about your life, and how your past is so much apart of your life today.
      I wonder if remembering is part of allowing the joy? Like, we will never really forget, but we will learn to let go of feeling responsible, or let go of the deep loss. I have many regrets about things I wish I had said to my father before he died over seventeen years ago.
      I pray you continue to get better day by day.
      Sending you hugs and sunbeams.

  • La McCoy

    inspiring story. EDel sends her love to Martha.

  • I killed myself laughing when I saw the lights trapped around the doorknob (because that’s totally something that would happen to me too!)…….[I won’t ask why you took it upon yourself to move a fully decorated Christmas tree… ;)]…..loved your post….lessons we all need to learn. [How about we make a pact to remove ‘yet’ from our vocabularies….?!!]

    • Hello Helen,
      You didn’t ask, but I will gladly tell you why I moved the tree. It was squished between a chair and a sofa and there was no place for presents. And I love to rearrange the furniture, so why not rearrange a tree? And what if Santa couldn’t find the tree? It wasn’t by the fireplace.
      Yes, I will make a pact to remove ‘yet’ from our vocabulary. The No Yet Group.

      • LOL! Sounds so much like something I would do! Must be careful that we never make a typo in the group name, LOL….we don’t want it turning in to the No(T) Yet Group….!!! Have a lovely evening!

  • What a smart Christmas tree! With a great message!

    • Hello John,
      Yes, the Christmas tree is rather smart. I wonder if a tree can laugh?
      “Why is she moving me?”

  • Brianna Wasson

    Hi Pamela! First of all, I love that you were brave enough to move your fully-decorated Christmas tree through your house. 🙂 Secondly, thank you for this. It’s time for me to let go of some self-disappointments and unhook those Christmas tree lights. Thanks for encouraging me to do that.

    • Brianna,
      Moving the tree was a little crazy. Almost half the ornaments fell off and I had to take down all of the pictures in the hallway to move the tree.
      And, you are very welcome. Tomorrow the sun will rise and you will do be able to start moving forward. We can be Christmas trees together, unhooking our lights and looking forward. 🙂