Monday, December 1, 2008

"Deck The Halls"

It's that wonderful time of year when I get to decorate for Christmas! YEA! It's so lovely and fresh. Every year is like a new discovery of red and green sparkling beauty.
I spoke with a friend of mine not long ago. I commented on how every year I say I will not buy another Christmas decoration and every year they come out with more beautiful and creative things than the last year, then my resolve goes out the door. Her take on it was they are always beautiful, but our tastes change and we see things differently. Hmmm...never thought of it that way.
When we first started putting up a tree, it was all homemade things, I poked beaded pins in styrofoam till my fingers bled, I stitched felt into animal shapes till they practically came alive and I hot glued many a clothespin toy soldier together till you could hear them march! It sure makes me laugh now! I still have some of these ornaments, homage to my past creative ways, or looniness, your call. :-)
Now however, I have a penchant for the breakable, lovely, delicate mercury ornaments, or my sentimental favorite, the Swarovski crystal ornament collectibles from my sister. I put everything on my tree, the paper mache apple my sons made in kindergarten, the bread dough ornaments I made when we lived in small town in MN, the Radko beauties, the crystals, you name it, it goes on the tree. I can't believe something so gorgeous, that evokes so many wonderful memories only stays up a month during the year.
I visited with a friend today. Her 2 year old refused to let her decorate the tree, insisting to line up all the ornaments on the living room coffee table and have stories with them all in attendance. Wish I could have seen that. What a dear memory. It makes me think of those precious years. Remember when the kids help decorate the tree? You can tell their age by the level at which all the ornaments are hung. The first year they are all around the bottom of the tree, then each year the circle moves up. Having the tall gents I do as sons, they now put the top ornaments and star on the tree top!
The best year, however, was when my sons were not quite 2 and 4 years old. The whole family got in on the act of "decking the halls". We put the fire in the fireplace, cranked up the stereo with Christmas carols, shined up all the decorations and began the arduous task of checking the lights. We were almost finished when my hubby and I noticed the boys were nowhere in sight. I called and called and no answer. I ventured into the kitchen and OMG, here they were fingerpainting maraschino cherry juice all over my kitchen floor. They had figured out how to open the refrigerator door. Their mouths were dripping, stuffed full with bright-red sweet cherries. The floor was a sugary puddle of fingerprints, cherry pieces and two sticky little boys. Santa lived to see them another year (barely) and I had the fortitude to not scream bloody murder, but think the whole thing was hysterically funny and snapped their photo. Have fun decking your halls this year, enjoy the memories...

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