We've been married over four decades now, and our Chistmas traditions have changed over the years. When we were both working, all decorating was completed in a single weekend. The real tree and all the trimmings. Our children loved deciding which ornaments were "front" worthy and which ones went to the back of the tree.
Now we have an artificial tree and put it up and decorate at our leisure with no timelines. While I did enjoy the hustle and bustle of doing everything at once, I also like the slower onset of bringing out our Christmas treasures.
One thing the slower pace allows, is more memories of Christmas past. One dreadful one we will never forget. On Sunday, after we brought the tree inside and put on the lights, my husband began running a high fever with chills and aching. Despite having received a flu shot, he had a bad case of flu. Two days later I also got sick. We took turns languishing on the sofa and during brief periods hung a few ornaments on the tree. Then we got a call from the nursing home where his mother was residing. She was sick. Pneumonia. So with a temperature of 102 I went over to the emergency department to admit her to the hospital. I wore a mask of course and you cannot imagine how miserable it is to have a fever and wear a mask. When I got home, we both cursed ourselves for not calling our doctors and getting an anti-viral. Nope. Neither nurse nor doctor thought of it. We learned later that our batch of flu vaccine had been recalled as ineffective.
But even that Christmas was still a good Christmas. We have abandoned a lot of the traditions but we still retain the memories of all those years. The gifts we gave and received. The excited faces of our children. Having coffee cake while emptying our stockings. Then opening the gifts and trying to guess what gift one aunt had sent. She always sent the most tacky gifts. One year it was three small coffee samples that clearly had come from a cheese package she had received.
One of my favorite gifts is a Santa my husband gave me many years ago. He has a lovely face and is cradling a number of dolls in his arms. Each year I love bringing him out of his box and putting him out once more.
Santa with dolls.
If you celebrate Christmas I hope you have as much fun surrounded by your favorite decorations as we do. The house seems so cheerful when Christmastime is near. And the wonderful memories come flooding back.