Decorating for Christmas

I love the idea of decorating for Christmas. Sometimes I even retrieve the holiday decor totes from the attic crawl space and attempt to actually do it.

This is the complete opposite of my mother, who decorates for every holiday, and decorates hard. Christmas is especially intense. Venture into that winter wonderland, and 40 years of nostalgia hits you like the blizzard of ’93.

Regardless, many of my favorite Christmas memories include those mismatched but lovingly chosen pieces of decor. I remember hanging our hand-knitted stockings, finding the perfect place in my room to place my green ceramic Christmas tree (then turning the ceiling light out to see the tiny colored birds glow), and lighting an Advent wreath with the family. All of these thoughts give me warm fuzzies because they are centered around so much warmth and love. And all of this warmth and love leads me back to my mother.

I do think my mom loves Christmas more than most. To her, it’s about giving…and giving…and giving. It’s about getting a huge Christmas tree to make her home feel cozy and warm and festive for her family. And then decorating that tree with boxes of ornaments she has kept documented for us (ornament- giver- year) on yellowing sheets of paper throughout the years.

I know that so many of the memories she shared with us were from her childhood, too. I can’t hold a brightly colored glass bulb in my hand or listen to an Andy Williams Christmas song without hearing my mother’s stories of childhood Christmases that were much less extravagant but equally as loving.

I know that my father makes Christmas possible (it’s not my mom that puts up the giant tree), but it’s my mother’s vision (sugarplums dancing in her head?) that makes Christmas feel warm.

And while I know that decorations themselves do not make a Christmas, I know they create a feeling. When you locate the perfect branch for a 35-year old “Baby’s First Christmas” bulb on your family tree, light up the 50-year old standing plastic Santa, or stuff a personalized knitted stocking, handmade in 1982 by someone long gone …you feel nostalgia. More than that though. You feel love.

Touching, right?

So decorate unabashedly, my friends. Don’t worry so much about trendy themes and neutral pallets.  Instead, think about collecting pieces that you love and can share with your family.

One Christmas in the future, they too will feel nostalgic. Today though, they will feel love.

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