Friday, November 21, 2008

Ushering In The Holidays

Perhaps it's a by-product of growing older, but the past few years, each time I begin the chore of opening the myriad of boxes that store my Christmas decorations I think, "This is ridiculous! Do I really want to put all of this out?" I start the mental list of spots that 'needs done,' as they say here. The 'to be,' is omitted by most when speaking about action items. "Needs fixed; needs signed; needs dried." Not sure why, but that's how it is said, 'needs done.'

Can I eliminate some of it? Maybe not do all of it? What part doesn't make that much of a difference? No one's really going to see it any way. Three trees? We won't even be here on Christmas day this tree at all, maybe? And, so it goes as I pop off top after box-top. I am quite serious when I tell you I still have a lot of Christmas stuff.

A great deal of what I owned, has been passed on to other worthy Christmas homes. My wooden ornaments and colored lights went to friend, Dana. Her boys loved seeing them when they visited, so I thought it fitting to send them on with my love.

My glass ornaments of jewel colors, some around since I was a little kid, have now found a home with my fabu niece, Laura. Two years ago, when we went to her house for Christmas Eve, I got a heart tug seeing my decorations artfully displayed throughout her home and on her tree. Life moves on and traditions grow.

Christmas Eve in Maryland was always at my home with family and friends and presents for my niece and nephew to tear open. For that one happy night, I gladly invested hours decorating every inch of my place to give those I love, festive memories. I have passed the torch to Laura who continues traditions that mean the most to her. She & Eric now host Christmas Eve in their home; the group has grown very large with the happy addition of the Gonzalez clan to ours.

At my Cape Cod on Long Green Road, I stored my collection in the deep crawl-space upstairs. A trap-door carved in the wall gave access to the treasures awaiting each Yule. Some years unseen, mice would nibble at the edges of things. But mostly, wrapped well, everything kept just fine. Lar-Lar, watched one year as I climbed in, flash-light at the ready, to haul things out. Awed by the effort, she named it, "The Christmas Abyss." I laughed so hard, I almost dropped the box of ornaments I was handing her. "The Abyss," it remained.

Evan & Melissa are happy to have Christmases with Dad and Holly and we're making our traditions as a family. However, I'm sure for them, my bright sparklies can't take the place of the ones they grew up with when Beth & Michael shared a home together. Just as for me, it's not the same without the Maryland Contingent here to see my displays.

Memories are truly funded by the people who view the decorations, not the decorations in and of themselves.

So, I'm getting ready shortly, to inventory what I must do. Do I really want to take it all back down again in a few's such a chore. Maybe just some this year. Or, maybe just the bobbles that Michael and I have started collecting together; our crystal stars...the fairies...

But, I know what will happen. Boxes open, I'll get excited seeing one that I like a lot; it will be like running into a dear friend that you haven't seen in a long time. Memories will flood me and I'll be holding treasured moments in my hand. Before long, all the boxes stand open; things everywhere. As if by magical powers, decorating will have commensed. I can't just put this out...this has to go with it. Oh, if this isn't out, I think I'd miss it. Dad gave this to me. This reminds me of Laura & Sean. And, so it goes until it's all crept out for another all-too-brief holiday time.

For now, I have to jet; My Beloved is getting ready to brave the snow to fabricate the exterior display and will require his assistant. That's his contribution to the decorating and he does a grand job. My Maryland family won't be here to see what we do. But, Melissa & Evan and our neighborhood family will. And, seeing the lights as they pass by will delight. It's about adding new moments and realizing that the current season is a gift that builds on my memories. That makes it worth all the effort. Looking forward to 'light-up' night here at our address on Eton Drive. Hoping you feel the same about your holiday decorating.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


raindrop said...

Thanks Holly,

I, too, go through this discussion with myself each year. I, as well, end up emptying the storage boxes. Fortunately about four years ago a pick-up truck bed hauling a trailer was taken, full of my Christmas decor, to the Community Church on Pensacola Beach. But I find myself collecting it all again! I suppose you are correct, we do it for the memories...ours and especially those of our loved ones.
Thanks again, you have made my holiday preparation much easier this year!

Heather said...

Maybe you could take some pictures, and share them with us! I know I'd enjoy seeing your beautiful decorations.

As for me, I'm just getting my holiday traditions started. For various reasons, this will only be our second Christmas in our house and we haven't even figured out the best place for the tree!

Anonymous said...

I went through all the Christmas decorations last year, giving many of them away to my sons who no longer live at home. I started a new decor, snowmen...and I leave everything up (except the tree) until March. Every ornament, nic-nak, picture, candle, etc is now snowmen and I just bought a few news one during the year. I like the unusually ones. We have the immediate family over every Christmas Eve and my brothers and their wives come on Christmas mornings And, this year, my granddaughter, who will be 21 months old, will add to this joyous celebration. I start decorating Thanksgiving evening, after the dishes, of course.

jkc said...

We really love seeing all of your decorations and would feel very sad if you chose not to put them out. They have become a special part of our memories in this new neighborhood. I remember several years I decorated the outside of the house so people would not know I had no decorations inside. Certainly, the beginning of January was easy, but that did not make up for all the "Christmas glow" we missed during the month of December. I will keep decorating as long as I am able, even if we are the only ones to enjoy sitting around with just the Christmas lights on. Go for it, Holly!

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