Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7: Christmas Decorations

We don't have a Christmas tree yet, but tonight I unpacked the rest of our holiday decorations. Also today we received our first Christmas gift in the mail (thanks, Susan and Chris). So let the festivities begin!

I think I was inspired by the snowfall the other night. And today as I left work more pretty flakes were drifting down within the circles of light thrown by the streetlights. First thing when I got home I hauled the boxes of Christmas stuff in from the shed. Every year it's like, well, Christmas, opening the boxes and seeing once more my favorite holiday artifacts and tchotchkes. Like my nesting Santas, the first two pieces of which are lovely Limoges boxes with a third, teeny little porcelain Santa inside. Or my beeswax Santa candles. Or my fake tabletop tree with the bendy branches and the miniature glass ornaments I've collected for it over the years, under which my Christmas polar bear must always be posed. Silly, maybe. Childish. Perhaps trivial. But I love ritual and tradition, and rediscovering these holiday things each December brings me such pleasure. Much more pleasure than shopping and wrapping gifts.

Later this week, we'll get a tree. And then comes the next phase of my Christmas indulgences--bringing out all our ornaments and trimming the tree while we play carols. There's the red globe with my name painted on it from my first Christmas, a felt cat from my grandmother when I was about seven, a series of hand-painted wooden birds, a porcelain flying horse, and my favorite one: Santa riding a snowy owl. Each one has a story of who gave it to me and why, and each story gets revived each year.

Santas in a row,
candles in every window.
House awaits a tree.

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