Tuesday, November 27, 2007

deck the halls!

Our Thanksgiving plans were derailed when I came down with a severe migraine hours before our departure for Chicago. While it was horrible to be in such agony while having to run to the bathroom periodically to throw up, I am glad in a way, that we stayed home from Chicago. It was nice to be able to spend a quiet Thanksgiving weekend with my family at home.

Once the headache and nausea abated, we decided to spend Friday putting up and decorating the Christmas tree. And what a joy that ended up being! Danny was so excited when I asked him if he wanted to help me with the decorations, he could barely contain himself! He helped me get boxes down from the attic and dragged them to the living room. Once Bil had the tree up, Danny helped me with the decorating while Charlotte sat on the couch playing with some blue plastic ball ornaments that Danny had picked out at the store last year.

It turns out that Danny is the ideal tree trimmingpartner for me. He was so excited and interested in every single ornament and I was loving it. Every year of my life, my mom has given me and my siblings a Christmas ornament on St. Nicholas Day. Her goal was to help us collect enough ornaments so that once we were on our own, we would have a respectable number for our own trees. Some are homemade, some store bought, but they each have a story. Mom chose each ornament every year to reflect our personalities, likes, dislikes, etc. I have many delicate teacups and Victorian style ornaments, while my brother probably has more firefighter ornaments than he knows what to do with. My dad has some beer can and deer hunting ornaments, my little brother has an Incredible Hulk and my sister has a phone from her teen days.

But my all-time personal favorite is Dredlock Dorothy. One year, Mom made a character from the Wizard of Oz for each of us. I got Dorothy, complete with ruby slippers made from small, red sequins. She became extra special after the cat got to her. Suffice it to say, she no longer has cute pigtails--it's dredlocks all the way. For years we planned on fixing poor Dorothy, but now I can't bear to change her. Looking at her hair always gives me a laugh. Anyone can have a handmade Dorothy ornament, but I am confident that I own the only Dredlock Dorothy in the world.

Decorating the tree with Danny was so fun because he loved looking at each and every ornament. It didn't matter that he had seen dozens of snowman ornaments already, he still wanted to examine the next one. I would say, "Hey, Danny! Look, I found a reindeer ornament" and he would come running over saying, "Mommy, let me see!" He would look at it, admire it and then show it to Bil and sometimes even Charlotte. For some reason, it was touching to me. Maybe because it has been years since I have decorated a tree with someone who was even marginally as excited about it as I was. By the time I was a young adult, my siblings didn't really care about decorating the tree anymore. And I absolutely love it! I am not picky about how the tree looks. I don't use 7 strings of lights like my mom. It doesn't bother me a bit that all of the ornaments Danny put on the tree are crammed into one very small portion of the tree near the bottom. I just like the process of sifting through all the old ornaments and remembering when we received them. I love talking with my family and laughing and taking our time. It feels so good to anticipate the holiday season and start it off by making our home look a bit festive.

I sure hope Danny's exuberance doesn't die down anytime soon. I know realistically that one day it may not be cool to trim the tree with mom, but I am going to enjoy every minute until then! Heck, he's only 4--we have a few years to go yet, right?


Amy Jane said...

Another beautiful post from my Patty-friend! What a wonderful story - I almost felt like I was there with you, decorating the tree and seeing Danny's excitement firsthand. It sounds like your tree-trimming day was about as idyllic as they come. It made me feel somewhat ashamed, as I decorated my tree alone, after Brian had taken Nick out so that I could do it uninterrupted. A far cry from your experience! Granted, I have a lot of gorgeous breakable ornaments, and I DO care quite a bit about having the ornaments well-distributed on the tree, but your tale has made me resolve that next year will be different. I will incorporate Nick in the tree-trimming. For one thing, he will be almost 5 by then, so maybe he won't be such a spaz! Maybe I can have him help me with all the unbreakable stuff, and then I'll do the breakable stuff by myself. Patty, I love your blog posts, because they often have a way of making me step back and look at things differently, and realize that I need to find more ways to stop and smell the roses and to be more involved with Nick. Thank you for that. You're a wise woman and a stupendous mother.

beckbot said...

Hooray for warm family moments! Christmas is such a great reminder of the best things about kids: innocence, joy, appreciation of small things.