I love the seasons of Thanksgiving pouring right into Advent into Christmas and the New Year. It is rare that the holidays stress me out and I often find that, when I am stressed, it is because I have lost my focus on family, God and joy and have focused on the societal “have to do” list which involves more money than necessary and unreasonable demands on my time. This year I have decided to blog my own Advent Calendar sharing memories, ideas, recipes and songs from now until Christmas morning. If any reader would like to contribute their own thoughts, please feel free to comment – or let me know and you can write a guest post.
Today – DECORATIONS!! I love to decorate – always have, and contrary to what some older women try to tell me – always will. My Grandma Fern lived to be in her mid-80s and she never lost the joy and exuberance of Christmas. I don’t believe just because you get older you have to do so. Sarah and I put up the decorations this weekend. Greg got everything out of the attic and then took the laundry to the laudromat (that’s a blog post for another day) while we worked. Sarah made cookies, I made mulled cider and we turned on the Christmas music (again a blog for another day). We began by just setting things out and looking at them. Everything we have has a memory attached to it. It takes a while because we begin to reminisce, be silly and get distracted easily. But, at the end of the night – once the empty boxes are tucked back outside in the building, and the vacuum has been run – I love to sit down and just basked in the glow of the tree lights and think of Christmas’ past, present and future.
Even though I have perfectionist tendencies and can be a control freak, I have always enjoyed having the children help decorate. My parents always let us help and those are some of my fondest memories. Besides – when they are little you can always rearrange things after they go to bed if they are driving you crazy! 🙂
The other part of decorations that are a fond memory for me are getting in the car and “going for a ride”. Yep I will admit there were times as a child that I did not appreciate this. However, I always wanted to invite Grandma and Grandpa to go along because Grandpa was good at talking Dad into stopping for ice cream. Now I realize how valuable that time together in the car, singing carols, listening to the adults reminisce about the people who lived in the houses we past really was.
Last night I was scrolling through pictures on Facebook and realized this is the new “going for a ride”. I still love looking at lights as we travel, but I could sit in my jammies and see decorations from friends all over the world – how cool is that?
Treasure the decorating. Only do as much or as little as brings you joy. This is not supposed to induce a panic attack and stress – just smiles and pleasure.