Every year, my family begins decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.
We deck our old Victorian home’s halls with mistletoe balls.
We hang our needlepoint stockings on the mantle with care.
We set up the Christmas Village which my mom collected over several years.
We hang the tatted and crocheted snowflakes our Great-Aunt Lila and Great-Grandmother Ruth made for us for every birthday, anniversary, and holiday until they passed away.
We give the Baby Jesus his first sip of wine.
Oh wait, that’s so my sister and I can make it through decorating with our parents. [I kid, I kid.]
Every year, memories of decorating for Christmases past flood my mind. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is from this treasured time and involves the song, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams.
I was probably 2 or 3 and wearing a navy peacoat and saddle oxfords. My hair was probably in braided pigtails tied with red ribbon (courtesy of my mom), and we were decorating the house for Christmas just as we always have.
We keep the majority of our Christmas decorations in a closet under the stairs and my dad was in charge of getting out all of the boxes. Being Daddy’s Little Girl, I decided he needed help taking the decorations out of their boxes and putting them in their appropriate location.
God help him – my dad’s 6’8″ frame has had to contort to fit into a less than 3 ft tall space, in order to get all of our decorations out, for as long as I can remember. Well, until this year, when my sister took over this chore.
First was the box of Christmas lights for the front of our house. I pushed that big box down the hallway and out the door to the porch. Then came the garland box, which also got pushed outside. Next, was our stuffed animal head of Rudolph [I swear it’s not as brutal looking as it sounds] that we normally hang on the wall by the kitchen, but that year, I decided it should be displayed prominently on the front porch. The same went for the fabric Santa wall hanging, as it also got taken to the front porch.
Eventually, almost every item from every Christmas decor box and almost every item from that downstairs closet got taken to the front porch – including an old wooden tennis racket that was lying near the boxes by the closet door.
Apparently, I thought the Baby Jesus and Santa would enjoy playing tennis together.