Over the last week I have worked to turn our house into something that resembles holiday spirit (actually, it resembles more of a candy store). Initially, I put up a few decorations and sat back and basked in the glow of simplicity. I loved the look and feel of the house. My delight didn't last long. The next morning Brent and the kids said, "Our house looks too bare. Where are the rest of the decorations?"
They want our house to look like Tai Pan Trading. I want our house to look like we are moving. So, the decorating dilemna begins. It is a struggle every year for two main reasons: my tastes change from year to year. And my taste, ever-changing and unpredictable, often differs from some of my family.
"Mom, that is not where the nativity scene goes. Last year it was on the fireplace."
"Yes, but I thought this year we could try it someplace different." I said hope-ingly (I just made that word up).
"Mom, it goes on the fireplace. And where are all the pine trees?"
"Well, this year, I thought we would move away from the outdoorsy, woodsy theme." I sense that I am weakening now.
"But mom, we love those trees and the garland."
Well, who can argue with kids who actually use the term "garland."
And so it goes. Tradition. Dependability. These are the things that my children want. And who can blame them? There IS comfort in continuity.
Then there is the issue of THE tree. For many years, I pushed for either a plain tree with simply pinecones and lights or a "designer tree." Something with ornaments that actually COORDINATED. And consisted of materials other than pipe cleaners, glitter and popsicle sticks, although we did have some purchased ornaments: a heterogenous mix from parents, wedding gifts and travels. But Brent insisted we use what we have and make do. And he definitely didn't want a plain tree.
Many years later, I had a change of heart, and have come to love our haphazard decorations. Every ornament has a story: A soccer ball for the year Stockton and Landon won the gold medal at the Summer Games. A little baby crib for the year our darling daughter was born. A frozen burrito for the year my kids say I threw one at the windshield (JK. BTW, I didn't do it! For the full story, read here.). Also, we have a tradition that we purchase an ornament wherever we go on vacation. So each year, as we unwrap the ornaments, we take a walk down memory lane. For me, this has become one of the most cherished events of the year. Yes, after fighting for years against our humble, eclectic tree, I changed my attitude and have now embraced it. I love our tree and can't wait to get out our funky collection of ornaments.
And then wouldn't you know....This year, after the tree was erected, but not yet decorated, Janessa (age 16) said, "I love the tree just like this. I think we should just have the pinecones and lights."