The anticipation of holiday arrival is overflowing with joy coupled with an overlay of stress, usually experienced in equal amounts. Whether its Christmas, Channukah, Kwanza or any of the other grand traditions celebrated around this Winter season, they come with their own unique share of the frenzies.
There is something else that waltzes in with the joyful season and that is the memory of years past. The memories are either good, bad, sad, humorous, but never can they be said to be irrelevant.
Since it is just the very beginning of the season, I will save my salute to those loved ones who are no longer here with me for a more Spiritual post and get on with what is on my mind, getting the house ready for the time of the year! I will leave aside the present shopping, fretting on the perfect gifts to buy loved ones, and the tons of holiday food treats one needs to prepare to concoct the traditional feast.
It seems to me we leap from Halloween to Thanksgiving. This is an easy transition as I put away skeletons and jack-0-lanterns, leave out the pumpkins and corn stalks, and just add a turkey or two. Wahlah! Done. All that remains to do is cook a turkey and over eat.
However, the bump up to Christmas Decorating is a whole nother ballgame. It is a massive undertaking and only the determined and stout-hearted can complete it.
For the last several years I have had family and friends help me with this job, not without much mishaps and frustration. Fortunately, outdoor light stringing and electric connections are handled by hubby Jim. In that realm I need only shop for bulbs and point where I would like them strung. He does this feat without further assistance from me, and he does it in record time.
All else falls to me. The tree set up, holly, garland, wreaths, throughout the house. Singing Moose, caroling penguins, dancing trees jingling, “I wish you a merry christmas”. Then there are holiday dolls, moving santa, and stockings for the door. Don’t forget the bells, bells, bells, to greet guests as they enter. There is more, but you get the picture. I over do, therefore I need help.
I remember one year my friend Roger assisted with the tree set up. Not the decorations (that is my peccadillo) but with the lights. Yes, the dreaded lights around the tree. It took us a few hours to get them untangled to place them just so around. Finally the testing. We plugged in. Ah how lovely. Yes, twinkling, colorful, tiny bulbs, which stayed lit for about one minute before the tree went dark. I never saw a man so distraught. If he had hair, that was the moment he would have pulled it out. I needed to get him out-of-the-way while I figured out what was wrong. It took a while, but no fear, we had a beautifully lit tree that year. He was much relieved.
Friends, who are taller than I, have topped the tree and also crawled around the floor to tie the Santa Claus skirt. Decorations are placed on the pinchy branches. Many of them are gifts given to us by friends that attended Christmas parties past. I remember who gave me each one and smile while thinking of the wonderful time we enjoyed on the day I was given each. I hang this Tinkerbell, or that huge painted ball. Perhaps thoughts of St. Martin when I place a Christmas Palm tree near the middle. Yes, all these memories flood my mind. Is it worth it? All the work and frustration of burned out bulbs, broken balls, hauling boxes out of the shed, standing on step ladders to hang wreaths, and covering every surface with some holiday decor. Is it worth it?
Sure it is. Its making happy memories for now and forever. With a class of wine in hand and Christmas music in the back ground it can even be fun. Happy Decorating, my Friends.