Friday, December 7, 2012

All Decorated Up for Christmas

The Captain built the train table and box that acts as
both train tunnel and tree stand
The Captain and I have been celebrating Christmas together for seventeen years – well, okay, sixteen; the first year he was still living overseas but we were definitely dating. Over those years, we’ve vacationed in many places and usually pick up a small trinket that can be used as an ornament on the tree. It has also become a tradition to purchase an ornament of a set that comes out annually. I’m the crafty type and have made fifty-some ornaments we call Christmas Balls (see photo). There are few surfaces in our house that I haven’t covered with Christmas collections, lighted greenery, ribbon, and candles.

With all this collecting and creating, you can imagine how many boxes of Christmas stuff that gets stored the eleven months between holidays. For the first five or so years, The Captain just didn’t understand this concept. He didn’t grow up in a family where keeping things was important. You move, you start fresh. Not me. There are ornaments on my parents’ tree that belonged to my dad's parents, which he thinks were his grandparents. We keep things.
My first Nativity given by my God Mother and made by her aunt 

The Boy has my “keeping” bug and always wants to be part of the tree decorating. In fact, he seems to think he is entitled to place the first ornament on not only our tree but my parents’ tree as well. In the past couple of years, it has become more important to him that he has some say in some of the decorating plans. I’ve had a bit of a hard time giving that up. It has taken years to get things just the way I like them. I even go so far as to take photos of each vignette so I can duplicate it the following year. So The Boy, being a boy, is growing up to be a typical man; therefore, not particularly creative in the ways he gives advice. For example, this year while I was placing the greenery on the desk, he walked over and handed me a plastic icicle garland. This little gem was purchased at school last year in what amounts to his teacher’s Good Will pile. She called it “Store” and the kids could purchase items with the pretend money they earned in class. I rather thought the icicle garland would look nice draped on his desk in his bedroom. He had other ideas. Some things aren’t worth arguing over.

See the icicle garland draped over the greenery? Yeah, me either... :)

Nativity given to me piece by piece over several years by my parents and a dear friend
The greatest gift my husband has ever given me arrived just last week in the form of a compliment. We had just finished two full days of putting up outdoor lights, decorating the tree, the mantle, the entertainment center, the curio, the desk, the chest, the dining room, and the hall bathroom. He collapsed into his chair and said, “Honey, the house looks beautiful. I would never be able to do this without you.” Actually, he could because of those aforementioned photos but I’m glad I was already sitting down because this took me completely by surprise. Not that I never receive compliments but The Captain is just not the demonstrative type. My point is that I guess living with me all these years, he has come to appreciate the collections enough to look past the space they take up in the garage and attic. Either that or he realizes that it’s better to enjoy it and not complain because the only way those things are going anywhere means that I am going with them. Happy wife, happy life! :)


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