So my FAVORITE time of year is here - started in early October when I decorated for fall/Halloween. Last week I added a few Thanksgiving decorations (pilgrims, indians and turkeys) to the decor and took down the true "Halloween" stuff. Now it's time to think about packing all of that in and dragging the boxes, tubs and bins and wreaths up from the basement. My husband dreads this chore. Darn those kids for growing up and not being here to help the past couple of years :) That was always their job....up and down the steps for box after box after bin after tub of Christmas stuff. Once the stuff is upstairs they are off duty and it's my turn to spend hours - make that days - unpacking and placing. Some things I put in the same spot year after year, like my snowmen collection on top of the desk hutch in the study. Other things find a new place each year. I love unpacking and coming across that new item I bought last year and forgot I had or that special item that warms my heart.
As I'm unpacking I'm talking to my treasures; "oh..you are going to look so cute on the mantel" or "just look at you" and "I know just where you are going this year". I love each and every decoration. Some remind me of Christmas's long ago when the kids were little. Others evoke a special memory of my husband and I or my sister and I. And we haven't even talked about the tree and those ornaments !! I set aside the many boxes of tree ornaments and decorate the tree last. We bought a 9' Douglas Fir two years ago and decorated it last year for the first time - what a beauty she is! 20 strings of lights and over 500 ornaments and she could have graced the pages of "Home Beautiful" easily. Can't wait to get my hands on her this year!
I start with the whole decorating event a few days ahead of bringing up the boxes and bins by cleaning and dusting and putting away all of the 'every day' pictures and knick knacks so that when the boxes and bins come out of hiding I can immediately begin placing things here and there. I unpack each box, bin or tub and set the contents somewhere, even if it's not where the item will eventually end up. This takes hours. Once the emptied containers are all taken back down the stairs (where ARE those kids?!) then it's time to start arranging and re-arranging and decorating the tree!!
I literally get tears in my eyes as I open and re-discover so many precious memories from 24+ years of marriage and two children who are now ages 19 (in college) and 23 (a U.S. Marine). I still have the many, many macaroni and glitter glue ornaments they made in Kindergarten and the 3rd grade picture ornaments, not to mention the Nativity ornament made out of popsicle sticks and toothpicks. I think Baby Jesus is a clothes pin. These are my most prized ornaments, each one special beyond description. They are as beautiful, maybe more so, as the gorgeous store-bought ornaments that we've purchased over the years. Then there are the ornaments that celebrate sports and accomplishments - irish dance, football, basketball, track, ballet, lacrosse, fishing, hunting and golf. Evan's 'cowboy' stage and 'fireman' stage are celebrated with ornaments. Caitlyn's 'ballerina' stage and 'dress-up' stage and 'horse' stage are celebrated with ornaments. Our tree is truly a tapestry of our lives. It takes me F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get it decorated as I must walk down memory lane with almost every ornament as I am placing it on the tree. Lot's of 'chatting' going on during the tree decorating -ha ha!
So once the tree is decorated and those boxes are placed downstairs, the wreaths and lighta placed in all 8 windows on the front of the house and the banisters are wrapped in greenery, lights and ribbon - it's finally time to sit back and enjoy it all. My husband laughs and says it takes me the better part of week to get it right. He comes home from work each day expecting things to be moved around and I generally don't disappoint. "How many new nails holes this year?" he'll ask.
I love coming down the stairs each morning to lit tree. We plug ours into a timer so that it comes on for a couple of hours in the am and again for several hours in the pm. I also have several smaller trees and other "light up" decorations that get turned on each evening and the lights in each window burn all night.
This Christmas will be even more special with a new Grandchild to spoil! More on Ryan Savannah next time!
Chat soon!! Rie