Friday, December 02, 2011

This weekend, I'll be climbing up into the attic, pulling down all those familiar red and green plastic storage boxes and decorating for Christmas. I'm not much of a holiday decorator, or even a regular decorator for that matter, but for Christmas, I try to make an effort. I do like the way the Christmas season has a look all it's own. But, I don't want to go crazy with it. I want my kids to remember the warmth and coziness of this time of year. I want them to remember the time we spent together doing things and enjoying each other. I don't want them to remember me snapping at them for stepping on the Christmas tree lights, again. I don't want them to remember sitting around the tree, amazed at how those little colored lights can make you feel like all is right with the world, while mom was in the kitchen clanging dishes into the dishwasher. I want to be fully present this year.

With that said, I feel a scale down coming. I have a lot of things that I take out every year and stick somewhere just because they were in the box. A lot of it I don't even like. I don't want it to look like Father Christmas threw up in my living room. I want it to look simple. And inviting. Without all the fussiness. I'm even seeing visions of the expensive nativity set my mother-in-law gave me several years ago, painted white. Can I do that? Will I? I guess we'll know soon enough.

So, this weekend, I'll be weeding out the things that I don't love. And I feel like I'm going to be really strict. It's gonna take a lot to make the cut. (I can see all the ornaments in the box right now, like in some movie from Pixar, discussing who'll get to stay and who'll get tossed. Some will start to say their goodbyes early just in case it's them and in the middle of it all will be our old, vintage elf doll, reassuring them just like Woody would do.) I'll try to find something simple to do with my mantle and maybe even make some new stockings. I hate the ones I have that I picked up from the dollar store years ago.

On Sunday, we'll head out to buy a tree from the local gas station, eat out at the kids' favorite chinese restaurant, come home and start to decorate. I'll fumble with the lights a lot longer than I expected to and we'll end up sending the kids to bed before the decorating has even started. But it'll be different. I'll be there for real this time. I won't just trudge through it because it's something on the list that needs to get done. I don't want to try to fabricate idyllic scenes hoping to ensure good memories for my kids. I think we all know how well that works. They'll know. Kids are too smart for that.

I guess what I'm wanting to do more than anything this year is create an atmosphere where my kids feel loved, wanted and worth my time. And of course, I want them to know what it is we are celebrating in the first place, the simple fact that we were loved, wanted and worth His time.

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