I have a love hate relationship with Christmas decorations. I love them…I hate putting them up and taking them down.
For years I put up lights outside the house and inside around the tree. Lights that worked the year before but needed tapping on and or replacing to work 12 months later. Lights that were carefully wound up and put away that had somehow become a tangled mess 12 months later.
We used to get cut trees and a few years tried live trees but later went to an artificial tree. The artificial tree saved money in the long run, and also saved freezing your buns off in a tree lot looking for the perfect tree, which in the eyes of every wife ever does not exist.
The deciding factor for a real tree was the children. Children like the tree buying and the tree trimming, the tree balancing and the daddy tree cursing. They liked the needles and the smell.
I’ve come to realize that Christmas is for children. Without children in the house there is no need for lights, ornaments or trees. I still love the decorations. I like that homes in the neighborhood are decorated, I even appreciate the complete Christmas wacko’s who go crazy with lights on the house and yard and blow-up Santa and reindeer on their roof. Oh, they are crazy, but sometimes it is good to have crazies in the neighborhood.
The kids love it and it does make me smile.
I smile because I don’t have to put them up or take them down anymore. We do have a tree in a closet that we have not taken out in four years. No lights in our house, no tree, no ornaments, no tinsel. We do hang a wreath on the door, I’m not a Grinch for gosh sakes! My grandchildren’s homes are properly decorated and I love seeing their trees on Facebook or if we get to visit. I’m glad they get the full Christmas decoration experience.
I don’t need it anymore in my house. The aggravation was more than worth it when there were kids. It was worth it to recreate the experience I had as a child when my dad cursed and haggled with tangled lights and frigid weather and then flipped the switch to light up the magic.
I am not a Scrooge I don’t do the “humbug” thing. I love the decorations, I love the Christmas delight I see in children’s faces. I just don’t need to go through the decoration effort anymore. There are no children to visit, no memories to create.
I have my memories, the memories of my childhood Christmas delight, memories of my children’s Christmas delight, and seeing the delight in my grandchildren.
Christmas is a magical time of year. I know it is a Religious day, but it is more than that. I know it represents the birth of Christ, but doesn’t it also represent the birth of all children, the joy of life itself?
Christmas is for kids, and when I see the effort of other people’s decorations without decorating myself, I feel like a kid.