Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On Legacies and Passing the Torch

I love Christmas. I love the decorating, the baking, the parties, the shopping, the cards, the music, the quiet time under the tree. My first job was at The Original Christmas Store. While I don't like to start at Halloween, I love the whole Christmas season.

In one of my former lives, I decorated stores, malls, and parties. I did it all year round, but there was always Christmas. When I left that life, I brought a lot of the accoutrements home with me. I have always gone completely overboard decorating the house. I like to pretend that I do it for everyone else. After all, we have Christmas at our house all day. We have people for breakfast and dinner. But I know the truth, it is really just for me. No one really comments or seems to care about the decorations. No one ever really helps much either. That is, until now.

My daughter has inherited the Christmas gene. She loves it. She went out with me all over town to hang everyone else's decorations. She helped in any way she could. She wanted to be a part of it.

Sunday we finally started decorating at our house. She was beyond thrilled. Quite frankly, this year I was just a little tired. We had a grand time putting up the tree. Ours is a tall and varied tree. It has gold beads and tapestry bows on it. It also has a strange mix of ornaments that the kids made, that I made, that people have given us, and that we have collected over the years. It really looks quite elegant from a distance, but when you get close to it you see that it is a family tree. I like it. So does my girl.

I went ahead and put some garland on the mantle. I announced I was tired and maybe we could finish tomorrow. I was told to sit down and rest. She then pulled the ladder up to the mantle and proceeded to decorate the garland herself. And may I say she did an excellent job. After we finished the mantle, we called it a night.

Monday we put out all the little figurines and knick-knacks on all the tables. She then came down with a fever and slept most of the day. Now, I usually drape garland down the stair rail and hang it over the window and door frames. Like I said, I go all out. While she was down for the day, I secretly thought we could just forgo all that this year. Our tree was lovely and together with the knick-knacks, it just seemed like enough.

When the girl came down this morning, I said, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here." Her response? "Not really."

What? She pointed out that we usually have garland over there and over there and up there and and and.... *sigh* I have created a Christmas monster in my own image. While she watched a show on TV this evening, I went down and added four more garlands. That is only half of what I normally would do, but it was enough. When she came down she I got a hug and kiss and a "thank you for decorating the house, Mommy."

I am so thankful to have someone to decorate for and with. Just like me, she carefully opens each tissue paper bundle and remembers it from last year. We make quite a pair. We are sentimental fools and love every minute of it.


Maria said...

Oh, that is a great story! I'm so glad that you passed that love of Christmas onto her. If you think that means a lot to her now, wait until she has kids. You've just started a long-time family tradition!

(Okay, and where are the photos of said decorations??? LOL)


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tradition for the two of you to share! I know that her memories of it will be precious to her long into adulthood. Because my grown kids now have their own homes and their own traditions, our house decorating has come to resemble Charlie Brown's Christmas tree--a pitiful commentary, indeed! However, with two grandchildren now to motivate and "help" when they come to visit tomorrow, things may change. I'm seeing the Christmas train set getting set up and some decorated cookies in the offing. Who knows--I still might get into the swing of decorating for the season! :-)

Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions via your blog, and I hope Daughter is feeling much better now.

--Marilyn (in Bellville)