Today, I broke a cardinal rule on which I have held firm for my entire life: No decorating for Christmas before December 2.
I have kept this rule year in and year out, and have never even felt the slightest bit inclined to pull out the holiday decorations before December. But this year, something was different.
I don’t know what it is, but I have been feeling excited at the prospect of the holidays for a little while now, probably as soon as the weather began to turn cold. And so today, we went out to the new Michaels in town, and we went a little Xmas bonkers.
And, when we came home, we put up our first decoration of the year — a little lighted tree in our foyer.
I think it probably has something to do with the fact that, for the first time, Stinkerbelle is starting to “get” some of the year’s holidays, and remember some of the symbols and traditions and things we do. She was VERY EXCITING for Halloween, and understood what was going to happen, and remembered a little bit of last year’s Halloween excitement.
And it was contagious.
So when she saw a picture of Santa somewhere in her school paperwork, and immediately said “It’s Christmas!”, I think that was the moment when I began to really feel it. The prospect of her first Christmas season where she understands Santa, and decorating the tree, and making cookies, and can participate and has a frame of reference… well, it just makes it all that much more fun for everyone around her.
A few days ago, That Girl and I were at Canadian Tire, looking for a humidifier. And as much as I love Canadian Tire, you need a slide rule, a ouija board, and a 20-sided dice to find things in there. So as we wandered around, we came upon the Christmas tree display. And her eyes lit up and there was that moment of breathless wonder, where she whispered, almost reverently, “Oooooh, Christmas…”
And I knew I was as good as done trying to resist the urge anymore.
So today, there we were, bright and early at Michaels, buying festive cards, and things for holiday baking, and our new little potted tree. And it was so much fun to see her gasp and squeal and clap her hands at every aisle of festive items. She said hello and wished people “Happy Christmas!” as we shopped.
When we came home, she repeatedly begged us to “have Christmas” and “Open the box and see!” until, at long last, we unpacked this first decoration of the season. She shrieked with excitement and jumped up and down, clapping her hands, as we fluffed up our little tree’s branches and got it to look just so.
And both BDH and I knew, right then, that it looks like it is going to be a great holiday season.
For the last few years, we’ve been too busy and tired to do much around the holidays, or we have not been here to celebrate so didn’t bother much with decorating. And before that, pre-Stinkerbelle, for a number of years decorating just served to be a sad reminder of how empty our home was without children.
But this year? This year, the prospect of Christmas has us feeling… well, like a kid at Christmas, honestly.
But it’s only November. We’ve got a lot to do, but not THAT much. So we’ve got to take it slowly, and savour it. As BDH said this morning, Stinkerbelle understands it now, and until the magic of Santa and Christmas fades for her, we only have a few years to get it right.