The Christmas Star And
Starting a New Holiday Tradition
So the reason for the season is almost upon us and I am still knee deep in storage boxes, greenery and making Christmas cards. Let’s not even talk Christmas Cookies and Parties. I am so behind I will probably still be decorating on Valentine’s Day!
In my defense, I have started a new position and I am still learning the ropes, so it is taking some major brainpower. I’m living in a mess day after day and I try to make headway during the extra hour I have here and there. The long suffering husband just nods and smiles when the chandelier greens get torn down yet again because I can’t seem to get them just right. My chandelier may be greens less this year! Oh well.
When decorating for the holidays, I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t out do yourself every year, and you shouldn’t expect to. Some years everything I touch turns out and the juices are flowing. I get the vignette done and I stand back to make sure it doesn’t need any tweaking and I clap all by myself. Yup, it’s really good. I just get giddy with joy. Last Christmas was just that way for me. I had a new room to inspire me and everything fell into place. I was so pleased with almost everything I touched. This year not so much! I think I just must be too distracted, so I think that I will focus on the magical moments, of which there are a few. Does this home decorating block ever happen to you? I will keep you posted but I do want to share a magical moment that happened to me just last weekend.
My Dad died December 19, 2007 so this will be the 10-year anniversary of that day. (This is not a sad story so don’t be afraid to keep reading!) He loved Christmas, Christmas parties, Christmas presents, and the Christmas Decorating that my mom always did. There home was spectacular every holiday season. My Mom would make dozens upon dozens of Christmas Cookies and she would end up hiding them all over the house because my dad, my sister and I would find all the hiding places and sneak the cookies. We would then scatter them around in the boxes lined with wax paper and pretend mom wouldn’t notice that there were cookies missing from the boxes. She hid them in the shower (my dad was a traveling salesman) under the sink, in the trunk of the car. She hid them everywhere. This would drive her nuts because by the week of Christmas she would have to start baking all over again. It was a very vicious cycle.
When my daughters were about 7 and 3, Dad decided it was time to start a tradition just for them. The week of Christmas Dad would make the girls get all dressed up in their Christmas best and he would take them to a very fancy restaurant for lunch. Dad introduced Heather to Prime Rib but Brooke was all about Mac and Cheese! The desert cart would come with all these beautiful deserts and the girls would order vanilla ice cream much to my dad’s dismay. After lunch he would take them shopping. They each had a small budget but they could buy whatever they liked for that amount of money. Swatch Watches being one years favorite. That’s the kind of man he was. This tradition carried on until they went to college.
As I have mentioned before my Dad was very talented and later in his life Mom and Dad were getting ready for a Christmas Party. Mom mentioned she would like Dad to make a wooden 5 pointed star, nothing fancy, about 6” in diameter that she could clamp to a small tree, that was a centerpiece for one of the tables she had done. He knocked it out in no time and brought it upstairs complete with a clothespin on the back to clip it to the tree. Mom painted it silver and then glittered it and clipped it. No big deal. But it was kind of a neat, simple sort of star.
After my dads death Mom decided to divide up the Christmas decorations between my sister and me and I ended up with the star.
My oldest daughter Heather and my dad were very close and she has taken my dads death very hard. Christmas for her has just never been the same. The truth is of course, it has never been the same for any of us, but you pick yourself up and keep going. Several years ago I gave Heather that star. I just felt she needed it. I was happy the star was with her.
Fast forward to last weekend. Now the happy part of the Christmas Star Story begins.
The Noise and Babble Boys come bursting in the house to help me decorate the Christmas tree. They are 5 and 4 and I was so happy to see them because they have had a bug running thru their house for the last few weeks.
Brooke tells me we saw Aunti H last weekend and she told the boys they could pick any Christmas ornament off her Christmas tree and take it home and put it on theirs. Brooke said “you know how Logan reminds us all of Pop Pop?” Of course I said yes, she told me Logan picked the Christmas Star. This didn’t register with me at first. She said “you know mom, the star” I just gasped. Brooke told Logan he needed to pick another ornament because the star was very special. Heather told him “no, no, a deal is a deal, and he can have it.” The tears came to my eyes and they came to Brooke’s eyes too. (Brooke isn’t a crier) we hugged and laughed. Gage looked at us and he couldn’t figure out why we were crying and I told him they were happy tears.
Soon we dug into the tree. I had managed to get most of it decorated but left several ornaments for them to put on the tree. Short attention span you know! Aunti H’s tradition touched me so much that I told the boys they could pick an ornament off my tree as well to put onto theirs. (I have more non-negotiable however, or maybe I’m just not that generous!)
Logan selected a polar bear but Gage picked a cheap plastic 1950’s vintage cylinder that has a twirley thing in it so when the furnace comes on, it spins. Brooke says to Gage no you have to pick something else because this one is special. I said no, no, “a deal is a deal” but when you put it on your Christmas Tree every year I want you to remember that this was on my Grandpa’s Christmas tree, so this was your great great grandpa’s Christmas ornament.
And, so it goes. You pick yourself up and carry on. Sometimes Magical Moments come into your life when you least expect them.
Thank you Heather for having such a generous spirit. Thank you Brooke and the Noise and Babble Boys for making a magical moment.