We decorated for Christmas this weekend. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving but we won’t be home for Thanksgiving and I wanted to get the decorations up before I went away. And if you’ve been anywhere on the Internet you will have read that there is a study that shows that putting up your decorations early will make you happier. I’m all about small things that can make me happier.
On Saturday Jack and I hauled the boxes up and we put the tree together. And while I was dusting tables and clearing spaces for decorations, Jack was full into decorating. He retrieved his plastic, cheap Mickey’s Christmas Carole characters that I had purchased at CVS and set them up on the console table in the dining room. The table where I usually put my beloved Christmas houses.
I figured I would let him set them up and then move them later. But a few minutes later he was calling my name, “mom, mom come look at my decorations”. The table was a jumble of Christmas trees, a singing dog, the Mickey characters and a Santa singing about taking selfies. But it was the smile on his face that caught my attention. Then he picked up a sign that said “Joy” and asked where he should put it and I told him I didn’t think it would fit in his display.
A few minutes later he called me over and proudly told me he had found a spot for it. I looked at his gaggle of a display and didn’t say anything for a moment, “It’s beautiful bud”. “Mom I thought you were quiet because you didn’t like it,” he said. “No, I just love how much thought you put into it”.
So, I put my decorations elsewhere, as much as my OCD was fighting me because the holidays are not about having ornaments in the right place. It’s about the people you spend them with, it’s about family and friends and about a little boy who is (how did this happen) about to be eight. And the joy in his eyes and his love for this time of year fills me with happiness, more happiness than perfectly placed decorations ever could.
I want this season to be about joy. These last few months have felt heavy to me. Work has been challenging, work and a toddler has been even more challenging. My little boy is growing up and most days he runs out to play with his friends with barely a goodbye. And I can’t turn on the TV without feeling a little heartbroken by our world. Most days I’m exhausted and I feel like life is one big rush from breakfast to the bus to work to keep the toddler entertained to dinner, homework and oh my is it ever bedtime.
So maybe my Christmas decorations are up early. Maybe we’ve been listening to Christmas music since November 1st. Maybe the tree isn’t perfect and some cheap plastic figures have hijacked my holiday decor. Maybe I’ve watched one too many Hallmark movies (is there such a thing?) but I want to enjoy this season and feel that heaviness lift away.
I want to let my heart be light.