November 27, 2021

Decorating for Christmas

When I was a younger woman freshly moved into my first real home, decorating for Christmas was something I anticipated with great joy. My first home was decorated with a lot of hand-me-downs from my grandmother and mother, as well as a few things I purchased on sale. I needed to be frugal - very frugal- in those days. And just like my foremothers, I do not discard Christmas decorations. I hoard them (for really no good reason). 

Decorating was fun! My friends collected Santas and elves which made for easy Christmas gifts. I liked reindeer, and when they found out, my collection of reindeer grew rapidly. It got to the point my husband and I joked about the yearly migration. 

Then came the year we had a young, exuberant puppy, Jett. We decorated. We chose poorly. I'm sure every person who's had a Labrador Retriever or dog of a similar size is well aware of the damage a rapidly wagging tail can cause. For Jett's second Christmas, we scaled back, and the scale down has continued until we've reached the point of setting out my grandmother's ceramic tree and a centerpiece on the dining room table.  Even at that, the little heirloom tree isn't placed where I'd prefer. Loki, my current cat, likes to sleep in the bow window, so the tree is on a side table. And Deuce is a bit larger, and more curious, than Jett was. 

It's been in my thoughts that I have one last big blowout Christmas decorating left in me. When the time comes, it will serve a dual purpose. Yes, I'll be decorated for Christmas, but it will also be the time to do what my mother and grandmother never could - discard a lot of things I'll never use again. Getting those boxes and bins back upstairs to the attic has become too difficult for me to do on my own and my husband is now unable to help with the task.

I'll ask the kids in Gen 4 to come and see if there are any of the older pieces their great-grandmother once owned that they may want, although the ceramic tree isn't up for grabs just yet. It may never be while I live and breathe. It pleased my grandmother so much she tended to leave it out until the first day of spring. Maybe she loved us teasing her about it. Whatever it was, that little tree holds a lot of memories. 

Will they really want much, or any, of the stuff? I doubt it. A lot of it is very dated and they don't have the memories of the hands that touched those things, which makes a difference. Nevertheless, I will offer. 

In the end, I will have done what I can to pass on those things and lift a burden from my shoulders. Most of the Christmas *stuff* stored in the attic will not go back up there. It's a bit sad, but that's the way of life. In the end, they're only things, and I've learned that things do not make a person happy forever. Once you no longer enjoy them, those things can weigh you down. 

And maybe once the dust settles and I've shed the things that no longer please me, and Deuce and Loki are old enough to be less rambunctious, the joy and charm of decorating for Christmas will fill me again. As with most things, we'll have to wait and see.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)


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