Fresh off the high (or “low”?) of Black Friday, we delved into hauling out our Christmas decorations. (I’m not being sarcastic- I love holiday decorating.) Every year, the kids excitedly adorn our tree with sixteen years of accumulated ornaments (many purchased each year on the day after Christmas.) Our tree might look gaudy to the outside eye, but for us, it’s a beautiful testament to life, love and family.
A few weeks ago, I went out dinner with some ladies from the neighborhood. I don’t really fit in, but this monthly gathering is my attempt to be semi-social. Anyway, the conversation went something like this:
Lady: Has anyone seen that house with all the decorations?
Me: Oh yeah, it’s great! He started decorating back in October.
Lady: It looks like he bought everything from the dollar store or a garage sale.
Oops. Another social cue totally missed by me! To some, this man’s house might look like overkill. But I wonder if his decorations hold the same memories that our tree does? I bet they do. Here’s another thing: his house makes my kids smile. Whenever we drive by at night, we slow down so they can gawk at the lights.
I always thought happiness was an intended by-product of the holidays. When I see my kids’ eyes wide in wonder (even my eleven-year-old- which trust me, doesn’t happen often) I can’t help but think such decorating with abandon is a fabulous idea. (Side note: decorating to the hilt in order to show up the neighbors, is NOT in the holiday spirit. And, when decorating becomes a chore that no one wants to do, it should be stopped!)
On Sunday, the kids and I went shopping at Wal-Mart, Big Lots, and the dollar store. We ended up with 215 ornaments, 27 feet of beaded garland, 8 boxes of lights and 82 red bows. The kids had a blast hanging the colorful ornaments on our trees and my older son relished his role of supervisor while guiding my husband as he strung the lights. (“Higher Dad, go higher!”)
When darkness came, we stood shivering in the street, admiring our imperfect handiwork. The kids were so excited because this was the first time we’ve ever decorated outside. I’ve promised we’ll go shopping the day after Christmas to get more lights for next year. Oh, and Pickles wants a lighted reindeer- maybe two.
My, what will the neighbors think?
Hmmm…turns out, I really don’t care. It won’t dim our family’s joy in the least 🙂