Fran wrote about trying to shift her attitude about the upcoming holiday season toward one of more cheer and simplicity.

I am also experiencing a shift. Usually I decorate a lot, and you would think with a child I would want to do so even more. However, the idea this year infuses me with anxiety. Our living room is very small, connected to the dining area and kitchen, and quite crowded with the necessary furniture plus the baby swing and toys. It’s the play space for the baby. I’ve always had a tree (we have an artificial one due to allergies and Husband’s role is to assemble it every year). In the years I lived in spaces too small for a big tree, I erected a teeny tree (12 inches) my mother gave me years ago and that is adorned with mini ornaments. Except that this year, we have no horizontal surface for even that little tree. No mantle, no wall space for a shelf.

I could put up other decorations, smaller ones perhaps, or even just the door wreathe. Yet the idea of rummaging through the crawl space (laughingly called the attic) to drag out the boxes daunts me. There isn’t just one box which contains the few decorations I might want to put up. I’d need to pull out several to pick and choose.

Yet the idea of not decorating for Christmas bothers me. I’m not sad. It’s more of the thought of “I’m failing myself” or “I need to be a good mother” that overshadows the decision. Yet what good is a decoration if it’s hung up out of negativity? With my mother-in-law coming soon, there will be an extra adult too. And then the presents, oh, the presents! They will arrive and need space. So I don’t know what to do.

Plus, we’re exhausted and despair just a bit because Pixie doesn’t sleep well yet. We had a few good nights, and then last night the wee hours were not so good. Husband woke me at 5 a.m. saying she’d been screaming and crying since about 3 a.m. She’s exhausted, but even now she’s awake (though quiet) in her swing.

My mother-in-law arrives Monday evening.

As for decorating (which I usually do the day after Thanksgiving), I’ll wait and see. Maybe a solution will inspire me. Or perhaps I’ll settle with myself the idea that I can choose differently this year. Even if I don’t decorate, I can find joy in this Yule season by enjoying other people’s festive lights and decor.

3 thoughts on “Bah

  1. William Sackinger

    Christmas decorations are for those that create them, and are a blend of tradition in their memories, with the time and space available. Take up the most important decoration first, then, when it is done, assess and appreciate it, and wait until a truly spare moment arrives to do the next one….
    Have a Blessed Christmas Season

  2. acm

    I say, future years will be the ones where the kid is able to take in and enjoy the holiday season, so if this year you need one less source of pressure (and surely everybody with a newborn needs a break!), then it’s the year to let the lack of space/motivation win. Maybe you can string one strand of lights along a stairway for a little mood lighting in the wee hour vigils…


  3. marta

    The first couple years of our son’s life we hung some pretty ornaments from the ceiling–no tree. The ornaments were sparkly and fun and enough. You don’t have to decorate but then again it might one of those things you don’t want to do but will enjoy once you do. Or not. We had a blast decorating this season, but then the A is four. What do you want to wake up to Christmas morning?

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