Friday, November 23, 2007

Let it begin!

The day after Thanksgiving . . . and we're all here together at home. No daycare, no work, no parade, no activity built in this afternoon.

Lynda, in a fit of familial consumerist madness, braved the After Thanksgiving Sales for a few hours this morning. Nothing horribly strenuous, but it signals that That Time Of Year has begun. The turkey leftovers haven't even been thought of and we're already seeing things in Red and Green (or at least those of you who aren't colorblind are).

I've got MSquared's Holiday music mix running on iTunes now as we all decide how to handle the rest of the day. Grace is playing with Barbie toys from holidays past (THAT is a Christmas miracle!). Sarah is thinking about being a Young Adult (taking showers in the morning, watching the news and the Weather Channel . . . seriously!), and Lynda and I wonder when we'll get out the trees, ornaments, and start baking up those Christmas cookies.


Trees are up and lighted.

Ornaments have been placed and tree skirts are down.

Boxes are still everywhere and I think I'm going to wait until tomorrow to tackle the yearly conundrum of outdoor lights--which ones work and which ones don't, what mysterious combination of extension cords and outlets combine to make it all function, whether or not I should put icicle lights around the porch or not. (This summer I put the icicle lights around the dining room nook for a Great Hall effect during Sarah's Harry Potter party . . . maybe I'll do that again?

Lots of holiday knickknacks are out and about in some rooms of the house. I always feel that some rooms get lots of decorations and other rooms nothing at all. (I always feel badly for those other rooms, such as every upstairs room.) But the minute a Santa statue or a small nativity goes down, the war begins. As soon as I turn around, here comes a kid with Baby Jesus in one hand and a snowman candle in the other. They won't leave well enough alone.

Christmas decorations are for the adults, attempting to recapture that innocence in their own memory. The kids participate, but they don't have enough foundation yet to make it truly special. They just enjoy the transformation of the everyday house into something Other. It won't be until later that they want to make that transformation for their own reasons.

So, right now I put out trees and hang ornaments, thinking of when I did it as a boy. And Lynda bakes batch after batch of cookies, cooling them in blank rows, awaiting the icing to come--all the while thinking of her mom.

Someday, our kids will remember. Right now they can only wait.

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