It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go, and I am loving it. Did you just sing that like I did as I was typing it? Haha! I bet you did! There is nothing better than Christmas lights and decorations. I love that so many people are decorating early this year to try to bring a little joy to this insane year. I NEVER decorate this early. I have always done it the weekend after Thanksgiving because that is what we did when I was a kid. We would load up the truck and head out to the Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect tree. Oh, how I loved the hayrides through the trees followed by hot chocolate afterwards! I hate that my kids have never experienced that tradition. All my adult life, we have only had artificial trees. That was just easier since my husband was deployed for so many Christmases. Plus, there really weren’t tree farms where we lived like we had in the deep southern, country towns growing up. While I love big city life, it is the little things like those traditions that I do miss about living in the country. You can’t beat searching for the perfect tree, watching your dad cut it down, and the smell of the fresh pine.
My youngest has always loved decorating for Christmas. Her eyes light up the moment the tree goes up. She loves helping me put everything out on display and hanging all the ornaments. The more decorations and lights the better for her. As we have seen other people decorating early this year, she has been begging to get all of ours out for weeks. I told her I was ok with it, but she had to convince her dad. I never thought he would agree, but he did. As soon as church was over on Sunday, he started pulling everything out of the basement. She was at cheer practice all morning and by the time she got home, all the totes of decorations were out, and the tree was up. I wish I had a camera on her when she realized the tree was up. She gasped and got so excited. We immediately got to work decorating the tree which is my favorite part. Our tree may not look like one out of a magazine or a Hallmark movie, but it is special to us. We don’t have matching ornaments or elaborate garland. Each of our ornaments have meaning and memories attached to them. There are those that the kids have made over the years, some that my husband and I made as kids, and some that belonged to our grandparents. We also have ornaments from all of our travels. Every time we go somewhere on vacation, we get an ornament that represents that trip. Each one holds great memories. We have so many from our Disney trips that now we have our own mini tree full of just Disney ornaments. I pull out each ornament one by one, reminiscing about where it came from or who made it. Then I add the hook and pass it on to the girls to hang on the tree. I love their smiles as they remember where it came from as well. They even argue over who gets to hang certain ones and which ones get prominent placement. They also laugh over the ones they made when they were younger and tend to hang those in the back because they are embarrassed by them. I wouldn’t trade our tree or our ornaments for a fancy tree ever. I love it so much.
We didn’t get all of the decorations up on Sunday, and still have a few things left to put up, but the important ones are out. The tree is up and decorated and the stockings are hung on the mantle. My youngest came downstairs yesterday and I caught her admiring the fireplace. She said, “It looks so much better with all the stuff on it.” I wish she would remain this in awe of Christmas forever. I love seeing it through her little eyes. Now she just has to convince her dad to put up lights and our blow-up Santa in a submarine outside. She asked me yesterday why I married such a Scrooge when I told her he said he wasn’t putting them up. I reminded her that she wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t married him, to which she asked me why I hadn’t made him love Christmas in all the years we’ve been married. When I told my husband what she said, he laughed and told me I missed a prime opportunity to tell her that you can’t change men! LOL! I bet if she were to bat her pretty eyes and beg him a few more times, she could convince him. He definitely has a soft spot for her.
Whether you decorate early or not, I think this Christmas is going to not only look a lot different than normal, but I also think it is going to mean a lot more to everyone. It has been a tough year and I don’t foresee it changing any time soon. I hope that we can all use the holiday season to remember why we are all here and the importance of family and time together. I also hope that we can all find some joy and peace in the midst of the chaos. Choose to be present in the moment and take time to stop, breathe, and be grateful for all you have. Try to look at the season through the eyes of a child like mine. I promise it will change your perspective.
Anchored in the Spirit of Christmas,