This year, my peripatetic little household celebrates Christmas in a new home, a new place, under new circumstances. For the first time ever, we’ll have our very own tree, and get to begin our own little traditions.
Small wonder then, that I went just a wee bit overboard with shopping for decorations. I think I got blinded by tinsel and the sentiment of the season. Yes, very unlike me. Living with kids changes everything.
I lugged home a 7-foot tree (any taller and we’ll be raising the ceiling), boxes of trimmings, a profusion of glitter. It took me several days to finish setting up the Christmas decors for the house. I created my own wreath, I hung window garlands, I painstakingly connected strand upon strand of lights, I armed myself with a glue gun–all day long and late into the night.
Our theme this year is blue and gold. It took me weeks of casing stores, prowling through the web for color schemes, cursing Martha’s lack of specifics, to finally decide on colors. I stayed up nights glue gunning and ribbon twirling and wire twisting. I went through two shopping carts full of decor, and still had to go back to the great gaping maw of the mall to shop for more. Obviously, I don’t believe in doing things halfheartedly.
I was in a decorating frenzy, and it was hard to stop. My boys picked up the fever, and dipped their little hands into the glittery stuff. My littlest one was so excited he wrapped his stubby arms around the finished tree, hugging it tight and almost toppling it over. That night, when everyone else had gone to bed, I sat in the living room and gazed up at our tree for a long time. Bathed in the glow of Christmas lights, I dared, just a little bit, to be happy, to remember all the happy Christmas feelings. It wasn’t that hard, remembering.
When I got into bed, my son Jeremy turned in his sleep and hugged me, burrowing into my tummy, like he always does. His face was smeared with gold dust, as were my hands. We have been marked by the season, primed for new beginnings even as we take our place in the long tradition of welcoming Christmas into homes and hearts.
However you celebrate, Happy Holidays to you.