...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

As we drove home after celebrating Thanksgiving with our sons and family in Georgia, we ended up being on the road for more than 20 hours. Thanks to our GPS we were able to avoid most back-ups and take alternate routes around the problems. This took us past many homes that were already decorated for Christmas. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home so I was unable to take pictures of the sights we saw.

An Elijah Bell creation with the help of Grandma.
I used to feel appalled that Christmas lights were up so early. Yes, I understand that Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, but what's the rush?

As I get older and time passes so much more quickly, I tend to see the reasoning behind the early decor. I also think that when I was a kid we kept our tree and decorations up way past the first of the year...probably because we were Catholic and I learned much later in life that it was sacrilegious to take down the Christmas decorations before the Epiphany. (Thank you, Mrs. Dedovich, for that lesson.)

Today, I like to start putting up my decor starting December 1. After all, that's when the Advent Calendars begin. I like to space it out too, so it's not so overwhelming. We have about 10 bins of Christmas decor, including the Creche, the outdoor lights and decorations, the wreaths, the tree decor and loads of stuff to be placed around the house. I love the whole Christmas season, can you tell?

Gingerbread Boy decorating with Jollie children.
Where I grew up, in the boonies of West Shokan, no one drove past our house, so we rarely put up lights or decorations outside...only when we were teens and put lights up around the door, do I remember seeing any. Inside, we always put up the tree on Christmas Eve. I can't imagine that in my home! The only other decor we had that I can remember were the trains and Christmas village, the Creche and one year I made a pipe organ & angels out of the Christmas wrap rolls and  Reader's Digests. (Very creative, I must say!)
I can still hear the excitement in their voices,
"You want US to decorate your tree?"

Over the past few years, my aim was to SIMPLIFY the season. I take most of the stress out by shopping throughout the year, using decorations I have had or purchased the previous year on clearance, and get everything wrapped and shipped by the second weekend in December. Then I can start concentrating on the food, especially the cookies!

I love having meals prepared in advance and cookies stocked up. Of course, I would love to do all this with my grandchildren, sisters, sons, family or anyone, but most are not around or are too busy during the month of December. But I have even been known to import some kids to satisfy my craving for the exciting sounds of joy and laughter.

So lets bring out the holly, and the evergreens and lets get a start on the symbols of Christmas.

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