Chasing Christmas

Late out of the blocks this year, I have been chasing Christmas ever since.

In fact, I’d barely shaken the cinder dust off Thanksgiving, when I looked up and saw Santa rounding the first turn. I panicked just a little. It would be a ho-ho-horrible thing to be lapped by an old, jelly-bellied man in a red velvet suit.

I picked up my pace.

Normally, I spend Black Friday streaming Christmas tunes and decorating the inside of my house, but, somehow, I’d regular-lifed my way straight through Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday without hanging any garland or buying a single gift.

I managed to get the stockings on the mantle just in time for St. Nick, but they kind of glared at me as they hung there all limp and empty. After a while, I just avoided making eye contact with them. It got awkward.

Last Saturday, I wrestled the outdoor Christmas lights onto the bushes in our front yard (an annual disaster that, this year, only required one trip to the hardware store, although the E in my love lights needs to be shaken back to life every now and then and I can’t find the icicle lights I usually hang from the balcony.) Wednesday night we finally got our Christmas tree but had no time to hang the ornaments.

So, yesterday, I hauled up the ornament boxes and got to work. At first it seemed very unfestive to be hanging ornaments all by myself in a time slot I’d penciled in between work and an oil change.

But, Christmas ornaments bring their own magic to the room and, as I’ve written before,  each one tells a story. I slowed down a little bit and took a lap or two around memory lane.

We have several football ornaments and each one represents a specific season in our sons’ lives. If you squeeze the 2009 football, it still yells “Hut Hut Hike!” in a startling way that cracks me up every time.

A doll ornament has been missing a leg since 1994, but she’s still beautiful and she reminds us of a feisty little neighbor who would pop by for a visit every now and then.

I am lucky enough to hang ornaments from my grandparent’s collection, so our tree holds generations of Christmas traditions that grow deeper every year.

It took a long time for me to hang all those ornaments, which led to my annual Christmas epiphany.

You can’t chase Christmas or it will beat you every time. You’ve got to pace yourself, dig in on those curves and enjoy the straightaways.

The magic of Christmas happens in the moments — the happy ones you experience in the sweet bustle of family life, and the quiet ones you’re lucky enough to find on your own.

Now that she’s up and glowing with memories, I am going to spend my downtime sitting in this room admiring our Christmas tree.
This looks better in the daytime, because the “E” shuts off randomly at night, but the message is sincere. I wish you all the love this holiday season represents — and that’s a lot.
This is one of my favorite ornaments. I bought one for each of my sisters and kept one for myself. I think they look like us.
And I’m still very touched by this addition to the tree, which my son Charlie’s fiancé Tara gave me last year.






5 thoughts on “Chasing Christmas

  1. I loved this post! It came just when I was feeling way behind, actually too far behind. Thanks for sharing. I finally added decorations and lights to our tree on Sunday, after it had sat bare for three days. Luckily, during that time I came across a quote from Thomas Kincaid that said, “Transformation takes a long time.” I find that to be true, both inside and out, and it gave me some consolation.

    1. I like that quote and I definitely agree. It’s easy to get anxious this time of year. Merry Christmas and thank you for your comment.

  2. Well written. Many do not take the time to reflect upon the reason for the season! It’s not just another “must do” on your smartphone calendar. We started the tradition of putting up the tree and inviting the grandkids to help with placing our decorations. They enjoy asking about the items made by their parents and the ones from 21 years of eleven different Navy duty stations and unique items from different ships and commands. The pizza I provide for lunch is the icing on the cake. It’s fun and we get 200+ decorations arranged on our festive tree while spending time and making memories!

    1. Oh I love that! I bet your tree looks amazing! What a great tradition. Thank you for sharing this idea and thank you for all those years of service.

  3. The magic of Christmas! Lovely post. I love getting out my decorations every year; they make me smile with all the memories. Even the sad or nostalgic ones. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Laura.

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