I’m a bit behind in my Christmas decorating this year. The Greenhalgh/Brown/ Hamilton halls usually burst
with holiday cheer the weekend after Thanksgiving.
But with my impending trip to Venice taking up much of my brain space and time, I’ve only gotten the outside decorations up.
Decorating is a bittersweet process for me. Each one of my mooses and snowmen and Santas has a story.
I remember each one as I pull the festive creatures out of my numerous boxes.
I bought Frosty at the first Westport Harvest Festival back in the ‘90s. He’s not quite the same snow white he was, but he still holds rank as the top snowman in my collection.
New Santa replaced Old Santa a few years ago. Old Santa belonged to my parents and sat on the mantle every Christmas. I misplaced him in one of my many moves. I was heartbroken. New Santa looks much like Old Santa, and while nothing can replace the original, New Santa comes pretty close.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love moose. I have an extensive collection of stuffed mooses, some which stay out year round, some which only make holiday appearances. While most family and friends enable my obsession, Bate never did.
Until the first year we were married. I came home from work one day, and there he was – a moose countdown to Christmas calendar, complete with spindly legs that grow!
“I couldn’t resist,” Bate said, just a little sheepishly I thought. And secretly pleased, I also thought, that I was so thrilled with my new moose.
And then there are all the memories of Christmases past.
I can’t help but remembering helping decorate my parents’ house as I decorate my own.
Dad set up the tree every year.
We had artificial trees, so while he put it together and managed the lights, Mom and I would put out all the other decorations.
My favorite was setting up the Christmas scene. We usually set it up on the hearth of the unused fireplace, a collection of wax, plastic, and china skaters. Snowmen, Santas, and carolers. Mom had owned many of the pieces for years.
The nativity set, whose colors had faded over the years, always went in one corner, with miniature pine trees separating it from the rest of the scene.
A mirror sat in the middle, with ice skaters suspended in motion scattered around, and finally, on the other side, Santa guided his sleigh.
I sat for hours in front of the Christmas scene, making up stories starring the skaters, the carolers, and the jolly snowmen.
I still have the Christmas scene, the figurines carefully wrapped and placed in boxes. I haven’t put it out in years since it poses too much of a temptation for the cats who have shared my homes over the years.
Dad would put lights – the old-fashioned kind with the big bulbs – on the shrubs in front of our bedroom windows.
I would fall asleep at night watching the colored glow of those lights through the curtains.
The world always seemed a little less bright when Dad put the Christmas lights away.
Do you have a memory of a favorite Christmas decoration? I’d love to hear them! Share in the comments section below.
Thank you for spending time with me on the sunny side of life.