Friends, do you love decorating for the Christmas season? I do! But, I’m here to tell you that no one, and I mean no one, loves it as much as my boys! They are at the Clark Griswold level, and that might not be enough!! HA!
It’s nearly time for us to bring out the boxes of decorations, we do it yearly immediately following Thanksgiving. I’ve been hearing brainstorming, chatter, and planning from the boys for weeks now. The other day we were in Meijer, our local superstore, and I lost them. They were two aisles over in the freshly put out Christmas decorations. It was so cute to see their eyes so big and hear them planning all of the things that they could do to the house, inside and out.
I’m a Christian and I fully understand the true reason for the season. I also like our family to focus on giving, kind acts for others, and love, but I’m here to tell you that there is something enchanting about a child and their excitement at Christmas. It’s magical! Plus, I think that there’s an argument to be made for them wanting to make our home sparkle for all to enjoy!
A few years ago, when they really started getting into extreme decorating, my gut reaction was something similar to annoyance. Thoughts like, if it’s not done just right, it will look tacky. Does every surface, vertical and horizontal, really need to be covered in some sort of decor? How many Christmas trees do we need, isn’t one enough? And worst of all, who is going to clean all of this stuff up after Christmas?
Talk about Mom sucking the joy out of everything they were excited about doing! It took me a beat, but I’ve adjusted my way of thinking on this. Oh yes, the occasional “you’re doing what?!?” thought still rolls through my head, but overall I have taken a step back. Remember when you were young? What was magical to you during the holiday season?
For me it was helping both my grandparents and my immediate family hang lights, put up the tree, appreciate all of the little ornaments and hear the stories about the special ones. Who made it, when was it gifted, and how special it was for various reasons to members of my family. I loved baking and decorating Christmas cookies, making plates to take to gatherings and neighbors. We’d often drive around one evening prior to Christmas, with Christmas music blaring and singing all the way, and see all of the beautiful lights others had put up. I’d be buzzing with excitement over the several holiday parties that we attended. But most of all, my very most magical memories were coming out of my room early on Christmas morning. The tree was always left on overnight on Christmas Eve. The tree had the most beautiful glow, the star or angel sparkled just a little bit extra. The house was always a bit chilly at such an early hour, but my parents would pop right out of bed, stoke up our wood stove, we’d cuddle up under blankets, and enjoy our gift giving together.
But those lights, on that tree, on Christmas morning… that will live in my heart forever!
So, after thinking back on my memories, the emotions I had, and the magic that the little things offered; it was really important to allow my kids to enjoy the sparkle too! Let their hearts be joyful and light. Let them design their ultimate decorative plan and share it gleefully, possibly even seen from outer space!
Something special happened within me too. I wasn’t so wrapped up in perfection any more. Worried about the messes. Worried about things that are silly. I was playing again, laughing again, making cookies with flour everywhere, enjoying all of the little gifts the season brings.
Grumpy grownups out there, I challenge you to let your child-flag fly this season. Have that spontaneous snowball fight, even if your clothes get a little wet and your fingers chilly. Make a mess in the kitchen making the most ridiculous looking snowman cookie you’ve ever seen. Delight in singing along to Christmas music. Go ahead and put on those Christmas socks and red scarf. Greet passers by with a smile and a warm greeting. Giggle through a holiday story book with a child. Take a second and remember what made the holiday season magical for you, when you were young, and recreate the magic with your family and friends.
Get your twinkle on, either by stringing some pretty lights, or a new found gleam in your eye!