Saturday, December 5, 2009
Deck the Halls!
Today we Christmased up the place.
I love decorating for Christmas. I always have.
I remember hounding my mother to let us decorate the house. She was always reluctant, but I loved to be able to mine for holiday treasures. No matter how many times I came across the ice cream cone ornament I made in second grade or the rocking horse I got from Japanese business men my dad had entertained for work one year, I delighted at the sight of them again and again.
It was like drinking something really bubbly and feeling those bubbles travel across my tongue, down my throat, past my heart and finally settling somewhere near my belly button.
I still have that same feeling when I unpack the Christmas garb that my girls and I have collected over the years.
This year everything is kind of awesomely tragic for me. It's Savannah's last legally-obligated year to live with me, decorate the house with me, be home for Christmas. As I looked at the different ornaments and pictures from the Ghost of Christmas Past that I like to display every year, I couldn't help but feel the tug of times a-changing.
After my divorce I decided that we needed a new Christmas tradition that wouldn't leave us hemorrhaging from the gaping hole where our former family structure used to be. Since the tree had always been a pretty significant part of our Christmas ritual, that's where I focused my attention.
I thought it would be cool to get everyone their own, personal Christmas tree. I had seen darling, potted Norfolk Pines at the grocery store and wanted to get three of those instead of one big tree. After a little convincing (and bribing them with new lights, garland, etc.) the girls were on board.
When we got home from picking out our trees and decorations Gabi, in all her innocent excitement, proclaimed, "This is better than when Dad was here!" It broke my heart.
Since that first year of multiple trees, we have alternated between one big tree and three small ones. This year, we went with the little ones. Savannah and I decorated ours today--Gabi is going to get to hers when she doesn't have a better offer to occupy her time and attention.
Now, I'm sitting in the glow of Christmas lights, listening to holiday tunes by Frank, Bing and Ella, and I feel those same, familiar bubbles traveling downward to tickle my belly button.