The holiday season is in full force as we move into December and houses and yards are being smothered in Christmas cheer. Storage tubs are being pulled out of garages and Santa figurines along with glittery snowmen are being stacked on counters and kitchen tables waiting to be placed in just the perfect place to help bring Christmas to the home.
Or maybe not the perfect place, but merely a place. It all depends on the person doing the decorating and over the past few years I have discovered that there are two types of holiday decorators. There are those who prefer order and themes, decorating their home as if for a photo shoot in Luxury Living with everything in perfect sync. Then there are those who decorate as if they could be on an episode of Christmas Hoarders. There is no rhyme or reason to where the cute decorations go, except that they do go up somewhere. I am a mesh of the two and could start my own show, Luxurious Holiday Hoarders.
Actually, our home is divided into three sections during the Christmas season, not counting the yard. Our formal decorations go in the front section of the house, which we’ve dubbed the Black Room, because the furniture is all black, and the Piano Room, because, well, there’s a piano in the room - I know, not very imaginative names, but, hey, we know what we’re talking about at least. It took us a year to start calling it the Black Room instead of the Fireplace Room after we moved and no longer had a fireplace. These rooms have color themes and everything blends as if professionals came in and did it. It’s not cluttered or crowded and everything looks as if it belongs right where it is. The bathrooms are decorated in this fashion, as well, and you can feel cheerful while performing your private duties.
Our television room is our fun room. This is my domain mostly where the front two rooms belong totally to the girls. (I know you picked up on the “mostly” part.) This is where the musical decorations, the quirky little devices and figurines and the decorations that don’t fit inside the front rooms are displayed. I can push buttons and hear Christmas carols and see moving Santas to my heart’s content. I see Mickey Mouse snow globes and Snowmen with top hats as I am watching the NCIS Holiday Marathon. Not everything matches, but everything is Christmas.
The back porch is the overflow, and this is my domain alone. Anything that didn’t fit inside the house is displayed here. Whereas the television room may not have rhyme or reason, the back porch is total holiday chaos. These are the decorations I wanted out for my own pleasure that the girls could not find a home for inside. They are not out because they necessarily look good, but because they mean something to me. They are a memory and I’ll fight to keep them displayed every year.
The girls think I do it because I want to keep them happy. I know that certain pieces mean something to them, and so I want to make sure those decorations are a part of the holiday showcase just to see them smile. They’re wrong. Oh, I want to see them smile, don’t get me wrong. Life is miserable when they don’t. However, the truth is I do it for me. I’m the one who doesn’t want to keep those memories in a box, pulling them back out after the girls have tried to sneak them back inside. I’m the one who won’t throw them into the trash as they’re replaced with new decorations with twice the glitter. I don’t care how old they are or how weathered they appear. They are reminders, not just of memories, but of where we began.
You see, now I can afford to decorate like the front two rooms. I can afford the decorations that match and blend, as well as color coordinate the rooms. However, it wasn’t always that way. For those beginning years as I worked two or three jobs at a time to provide for my family, we could only afford the cheaper decorations that now cover my porch. From Dollar Stores to Wal-Mart clearance aisles to things the boys made with their tiny hands, we did the best we could to bring holiday color into our home. The kids didn’t know any better. It was Christmas and the music blared from an ancient stereo as small presents went under the tree to drive them crazy wondering what was wrapped inside. They were happy and that kept me content. Christmas is about family, after all; not material objects.
So the girls take the front rooms and the bathrooms, most of the dining room, and decorate them in the fancy way they have always wanted. The back porch, however, as is most of the television room, is mine. It is here that I can look upon the past and remember to appreciate the present while always striving for a better future.
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For Further Reading ~ When They Stop Believing
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