This poor Christmas tree has stood in our sunroom for over 10 days, just waiting for my attention. I look at it everyday as I dash in and out of the house in between errands and tell myself, “yes, yes, I will get to hanging up the ornaments”. Later.
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, my husband excitedly pulled out all of our Christmas boxes from storage and quickly started assembling the artificial tree. I thought he was jumping the gun a bit, because I was elbow deep in cornbread stuffing and broccoli casserole for an early Thanksgiving dinner for our extended family. But, he loves Christmas, and couldn’t wait to usher the season of good cheer into our house.
I love that he embraces Christmas. When we met, he had not a clue how important and fun Christmas had been for me as a child. I explained to him how I cherish the mystery and excitement that filled my life every year as a child, when, after Thanksgiving, my whole world revolved around the impending arrival of Santa down our chimney. My brothers and I watched Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, in claymation on TV. I wrote letters to Santa with my Christmas list, always drawing a picture of him at the bottom. I hoped that if Santa saw how much I liked him, he would bring me extra presents. On Christmas Eve, I left Santa a plate of homemade sugar cookies and a plate of carrots for his reindeer by the fireplace. When Christmas morning finally came, and I had ripped off the wrapping paper and bows from all of my presents, I marveled when my dad told me about Rudolph visiting my room while I slept. (I believed that story much longer than I should have).
Christmas excitement is contagious, and my husband caught the bug. Now, I think it is more important to him than it is to me. We both enjoy watching the giddiness that Christmas brings to our kids, but I have come to feel like creating the experience is chore. I buy the gifts for everyone in our extended family, and the pressure to get just the right thing for each person squeezes my nerves. I am afraid I’ve become a little jaded.
I am grateful for my husband’s continued dedication to carrying on the joy that Christmas can bring to our family. True to his upbringing, he works hard at being the kind of dad who is a leader of his family, and he keeps us together, even when life gets in the way.
So, today, I will make time to play some Christmas tunes and enlist all of the kids to get together and help hang ornaments on the tree. That tree looks pitiful. Seeing it full of ornaments made by the kids over the years will certainly inject some Christmas spirit into me. The lights,colors, and memories really are still magical for me.