As a mother when I decide to have a bad day, that decision is accompanied by a choice. Is this going to just be my bad day or everyone’s bad day? Sometimes that choice comes with massive guilt. Like when I’m having a bad day that gets progressively harder as time goes, but it is the day we are decorating the house and the tree and I can’t back out even though I want to run away screaming but I can’t because it’s freaking Christmas! Yeah. Ahem. I think that when we (as mothers) make the right choice and choose to fake a good mood in order to not ruin it for everyone else, something strange happens. It’s like God and Jesus/The Universe/Virgin Mary/Magical Hollyberry Unicorn (whoever you are thinking about during the holidays) smiles at you and says, “Good job! Now I’ll help you see what your choice really meant.” And you stop and look around and you see joy happening. Like it’s a full-out verb and it’s happening right in front of you. And when it’s your kids joy-ing because you choose not to be cranky evil mommy…well. That’s it. That’s the start of Christmas.
I think my holiday spirit is helped this year by the fact that we put lights up outside for the first time ever. Big, tacky colored bulbs over the top arch and mini colored lights around the columns. I can call them tacky because I love them. The first house I remember had them (The Gloria Road house in Arcadia, CA which belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa and was the coolest house ever. It had a secret door and passage way.) And my husband grew up with them too (granted my in-laws are awesome and have a huge wooden Garfield that is pulling at the lights). But needless to say lights are happening at our house!
Decorating buddies. It’s fun to have two helpers instead of two decor hazards. Layna, as always, was management and very good at finding the new Christmas books.
Neil is getting really good at this. Plus he managed to accidently fix a strand of lights that the cats had chewed though. He’ll be in charge of building the tree forever.
Little girl loves to hug the tree. Weird, yes. Since she makes a mommy and baby out of everything our trees were no exception. The little baby tree and the big daddy tree have had some riviting conversations.
I have pictures of the broken plate for santa’s cookies, and I could tell you about all the stressful stupid stuff that led up to decorating the tree and hot coco that night. But it’s just that. Stupid stuff. I’m so glad that my kids are young enough to ignore my bad moods and that hot coco is something to squeal over. I love that they will never notice that our star is made of paper and will never sit straight but it’s tradition and I’ll cry the year it falls apart. They are helping me feel it this year and that is one of the greatest gifts given to mother’s every Christmas. We think we make the magic happen and our kids turn around and make it real, reminding us that this whole thing is not about pageantry but about believing.