This year is special. It’s the first Christmas in our new home. The home I’ve dreamed of for over a decade. The home it took years to build.
During construction, I already saw the finished product in my mind. Tonight, as a fire danced in the wood heater, I looked at the stockings hanging on the wall, the decorated Christmas tree, and the four nativities scattered through the house. This is exactly how I envisioned the Christmas season in my home.
Christmas has been hard since 2005. The February after David and I were married, my parents lost their home to fire. All the Christmas decorations, except one smoke damaged ball, were lost. The handcrafted ornaments. Our special pictures from school as little kids. My mom’s ornaments from childhood. A handmade advent quilt from my grandmother. All the nativities. Our knitted stockings. Gone.
I dreaded Christmas for years. Then kids came along. They needed to feel the magic, so if for no one else, I decorated a four feet tall tree for them each year. With each new season, it got easier and after several years, I enjoyed pulling out handmade ornaments and remembering.
But this year was the first time in nineteen years I’ve felt genuine excitement. Since the beginning of November, I’ve anticipated setting up the tree and decorating the house for Christmas. I also have plans for the outside, even though my husband says no one will see it but the deer and buzzards. If I’m the only one who gets to enjoy it, then so be it.
It’s been fun having a fresh start; to enjoy the labor of so many years of hard work. New traditions will start. New memories will be made. And a new enthusiasm will continue.
Even as I write this, I have a smile on my face. If you are wrestling with decorating for Christmas this year because no one is going to be there to enjoy it, then do it for yourself. If you are the only person who sits and takes it in, then it’s worth doing just to make that smile happen on your face. It might even get you out of the funk you’ve allowed yourself to get into.
Enjoy the season. The reason. The people. And the fun. And make some new, happy memories this year.