This last weekend everyone begged me to get out the decorations and I succumbed to the pressure-I had thought about waiting just one more week. Last year when I took the decorations down, I was sick as a dog with pregnancy and it was apparent in the way I literally threw things into the bins and I had to laugh at the tangles and scrappiness and a few broken ornaments here and there.
This year I scaled back my decorating-just because. I’ve decided that from now on I am going to go with a few fresh garlands ro replace any fakes that I bought before. Not only does it look really fresh and simple, there is no storage needed. I love having to store only a few Christmas bins in the attic. (Remind me of this reasoning when I am vacuuming up pine needles in 2 weeks)
As we were decorating the tree Abbey and I had a chuckle because I mentioned those commercials that show a family peacefully decorating the tree in matching sweaters and scarves, while sipping hot chocolate and hanging ornaments one by one, music playing in the background. I was listening and comparing in my head with what was really going on here and it was pretty funny. Jeff was holding Janey in the other room, while she slept (because that is the only way she will stay asleep in the late afternoon) and while he watched a game on TV. He had just brought the tree home and set it up in the stand, which always tests his patience level to the max. Isaac is gone at college, hopefully studying for exams. Matthew, Andrew and Patrick were putting on the ornaments in typical boy fashion. I heard one of them say, ‘I am going to group all these animal ornaments together on one branch.’ And then Abbey saying, “No, that’s so stupid! That will look awful, you can’t do that, that’s not how you decorate a tree!” Andrew said, “This tree hates us! Everytime I put an ornament on, it falls off! Stupid tree.” One boy almost fell off the ladder into the tree, and blamed another boy for it. They all lost interest after awhile and Abbey and I finished it up.
It looks (imperfectly!) beautiful, filled with spoon ornaments and laminated hand print ornaments and a bunch of other funny stuff. I love it. I find as the years go by I lower my expectations little by little. Isn’t it funny how that works?