Saturday, January 2, 2010

Down

Today is the day to take it all down. All the sparkle and the cheer. All the trinkets collected over the years of my life. All the special sentimental things, those placed on display only for the holidays. It's time for the house to go back to just being a house, not the bedazzled version it currently is.

I didn't put all the decorations out this year. Not even close. They weren't up for very long, as it took me quite a while to find the motivation to do it in the first place. I managed to get almost all of it done in the time it took AJ to take a nap one day. Those brief hours I spent running around the house like a lunatic, feverishly unwrapping and unbubbling the delicate angels and snowmen.

It's time to put it away. It will inevitably take longer to put away than it took to put it out. It will take longer because I will have helpers. The kind of helpers that make things take longer. That make everything take longer. The kids. They will ask me questions. Where was this from? Who gave this to you? Was this mine when I was a baby?

They will beg to leave things out. Can't we just have this one out all year, Mommy? A few years ago, the girls wanted the Barbie ornaments left out. Aidan's lobbied for the Grinch. Last year it was the Nutcrackers they advocated for. If I had to venture a guess as to what it will be this year, I'm fairly confident it will be a book.

A book. Not just any book. This isn't a typical Christmas book, though it contains the most typical of all Christmas stories. The Night Before Christmas. The story that we have read to the kids on Christmas Eve since Aidan was a baby. What makes this particular book so special is that it is narrated with the sound of their Grandpa's voice. This gift was tucked into a suitcase on the way back from California. Something that they instantly realized was special. I knew about the book. I was with my mom when she bought it, so it wasn't a surprise. I made myself a promise though, that I wouldn't listen to it until Christmas Eve. And I waited.

On turning the first page, fully expecting one of us to read it to them, they heard the voice. And their eyes lit up. They sat and they listened that night, and they have sat and listened countless times since then. I have a feeling this will be the thing they beg to let stay out all year. And I have a feeling that I will be just fine with it.

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