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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Christmas Season Has Begun!

It is that time of year again...its Christmas! It is truly one of my favorite holidays and something I look forward to each year. This year is a little bit more amazing as my little guy is figuring out what Christmas is all about. Seeing the joy and magic of Christmas through a child's eyes is nothing short but amazing.

This year I triumphed by decorating the house early and mostly by myself. Last year (after some lazy complaints by me), my husband took pity and decorated the house while I was away one day. It was a nice surprise, but it was also a week or so before Christmas, so I did not have the usual month long enjoyment of relishing in my decorations. I find that nothing is more joyous then turning on the much loved classic Christmas music and taking out sentimental Christmas decorations.

I don't decorate my house like Martha Stewart and I'm okay with that. I have different loves of snowman, Nutcrackers and St. Nick and have little figurines for each one. Snowman always remind me of the Frosty the Snowman cartoon and how happy and jolly he always was. Snowmen (and snowwomen) just make me smile. St. Nick reminds me of well St. Nick or Santa Claus, but I love having different representations of them from matroshka dolls, to painted "HoHo" signs made by my mother, to a real life representation of THE St. Nicholas would of looked like (staff and all). My lovely nutcrackers are a real representation of my childhood as I used to see The Nutcracker production every year at the Steven's Center in North Carolina. Radio City hall or any other production I've seen has never came quite as close to magnificient that one was. Every year as a child, The Nutcracker ballet would renew my love of my Mom's store bought Nutcracker as I would cradle it like Clara used to and would wish at night that I would be brought to the world of Sugar Plum Fairies and the Land of Sweets. Then there are my Moravian tin angels. I should say that too is another huge fragment of my childhood. I remember going to Old Salem (not the one you probably are thinking of) and walking through the cold streets of the old moravian village during the Christmas season. Often my family would take horse drawn wagon rides through the old town. I would also love smelling the aroma of bee wax candles as we entered the different shops. So each year as I take out my carefully wrapped tin angels from the box, a huge aroma of bee wax candles hits my nose and it always brings me back to those simpler times.

At last there is the Christmas tree. One of these years we will have a real one, per my husband's request, as he had real trees off and on as a child. I just really don't want to mess with them. I laugh every time thinking of my already pre lit Christmas tree when pulling it out of the box, because I was damned determined to get something already pre lit due to Dad's hostility each year with the Christmas lights. I did not want a repeat of that one. My Christmas tree, much like my decor around the house, isn't thoughtfully planned out in matching colors, organization or theme. It simply is yearly decorations I have received as a child into adult hood that have sentimental meaning. I have my American Girl Collection Samantha doll ornament that always reminds me of that one lucky Christmas I got my Samantha doll as a present from Santa Claus. I think that year was also the last year I truly believed that there was a Santa Claus. I have different assortments of White House ornaments that I have received over the years with one being dedicated to the Garfield administration. Enscripted on the ornament box with my Mom's beautiful (it really is beautiful) handwriting, she talks about the memory I had as a child visiting Garfield's home in Cleveland. In short, the memory was me being all excited about going, which surprised my parents. They finally figured out (after watching me look around for something in particular and then the disappointed face of their child) that I thought we were visitng the home of Garfield the cat, not Garfield the former President. I also have a ornmanet that is a little chipmunk selling hot nuts on an old vendors cart. That one always reminds me of our yearly visit the day after Thanksgiving to downtown Cleveland. Between Tower City and The Arcade, there used to be a deliciously smelling store that sold hot nuts and my Mom ALWAYS bought some yummy cashews. I have so many more memories all wrapped up in the different ornments that are hung around my tree...the trip to NYC with my sister and Mom, the angel my Aunt made, etc., Each have a story that belongs solely to them.

I am sentimental in my decorating and hope that someday the same decorations will have some sentimental meaning to my son and whatever children I have. What they will be, I am not sure quite yet. However, as the years goes on and the magic of Christmas returns each year, there will be surely more beautiful and wonderful memories that will be made and I can't wait to experience them all.

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