Bah Helmsworth

dog with lights


The Christmas season is upon us. Why do people say it like that? It makes me feel like something fell from the sky or I should avoid driving next to hills or mountain overhangs. Watch for falling rocks or falling holidays. At this point, it is too late. It has arrived, or fallen, and there is nothing we can do about it.

I used to decorate a bit for Christmas. I was never one of those ‘hire young relatives to come over and assemble my Thomas Kinkade glowing Christmas village’ people, but I did a bit. I had acquired some nice decorations through the years, and I would strategically place them throughout the house. If I was really clever, some of the items would evade my clean up efforts and manage to stay up all year. I would find one in June or July when I did my biannual dusting and by then, well, might as well leave it up. Right?

I had a very nice nativity set that I had grown over many young married years. My sister in law (aka my mother in law’s idea) would give me a piece or two each year. It wasn’t completely my style, but it was very pretty and I loved seeing it grow. Until Alabama.

Alabama was a very interesting place. We lived in Madison, which was surrounded by Huntsville, which created a sort of bubble of ‘non-south-ness’. If you have ever been to the ‘true south’, you may know what I’m talking about. I loved many things about Alabama, but not enough to make up for how much I hated my house. My dear hubby tried everything to make it less of a dark, cavelike asylum, but….yeah.  Needless to say, I wasn’t too sad when after only a year and a half, we were transferred to Florida where we lived in my very favorite house. (insert wistful sigh…)

It may have been my eagerness to move or the movers’ laziness to move, but somehow my attic was not unloaded for the move. 90% of my Christmas decorations were in that attic, along with a very awesome (scary) pressure canner. We moved to Florida in August, so we didn’t notice things were missing until we went to decorate for Christmas in December. After searching everywhere, we realized the stuff was probably still in the attic in Alabama which, unfortunately, we still owned. We called a good friend to go and check, telling him we would gladly pay to have the stuff shipped to us. But alas, some sweet person had removed that obligation by stealing everything except the empty boxes.

Who steals a nativity set?

Here I am, many years later, with bits and pieces of my decorations. I have some that survived the great theft of 04, and some that have joined the fray since then. I got it all out on Saturday. Several big plastic totes full of diligently packaged nativities, ornaments, garlands, lights….etc.  I stacked the boxes all outside the shed and looked at them. Impressive. I carried one in, telling myself I would send the boys out to get the rest.

That was Saturday, as I said. Today is Monday. The boxes are still beside the shed. The tote I brought in is half full. My whole family is in a funk. Or, could it be that boys don’t care about Christmas decorating? Maybe I can blame this all on them and their desire to be a rock at rest most days. I can hear their brains churning, “if we decorate, we have to think and probably follow directions. And then, we will have to take it all down. What is the point?” This would be the same dialogue their father used many times during his life. He applied this to dishes, bed making, lawn mowing….etc.

So the boxes sit. They stare at me and they wonder. Will this be the year we just sit there? Will we be unpacked? Will we be put out to the curb for a quick sale because we depress her? Or will I push through the foggy cloud of melancholy that sits like a weight on my heart and just do it?

At this point, I don’t know and I’m not sure I care. I think I may focus more on outer decoration this year. I don’t mean outside of the house, I mean more of a ‘decorate the world outer’. Maybe I can decorate my neighbor’s faces with smiles from my banana bread. Maybe I can decorate my children’s memories with a trip to a Christmas concert or play. Maybe I can decorate someone’s heart with a hug or heartfelt note.

Those ideas sound way more appealing. Plus, there will be no clean up. Cause I said so



Photo credit: Digital Photography School

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