Tag Archives: holiday

Tucked Away

Normally I put up holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving and put them all away on New Year’s Day. This year I didn’t adorn the house until December 8th and, desperate for floor space again, we packed the tree and other items up yesterday afternoon. All our presents are living in their appropriate places for use and enjoyment. There will come a time when we loll in the afterglow of the holiday, with the tree and presents still stacked around once opened. But we’ve got tummy time to do, and rolling over to practice! And new toys to play with and books to read, of course.

I was reading The Book of New Family Traditions, and I realized Claire and I have a diaper-changing ritual that has simply evolved over time. When we head to her room for a change, I sing a little song: “Claire needs a clean (or dry) diaper (three times), yes she does, yes she does!” I sing that a few times on the way. Then when her new diaper is on, I kiss her right foot several times before tucking it into her outfit, and then I kiss her left foot and tuck it in. Diaper changing time is always full of smiles (except when her rash was so bad, and it’s gone now, thank goodness).

On Christmas Eve we each opened a gift. As I tore the paper on her gift, Claire began to laugh a rolling, from-the-belly laugh. I kept tearing, and she hooted like it was the funniest thing ever. She hadn’t laughed like that before. It was the most amazing experience and got us laughing too. Husband had the presence of mind to make a 30-second video of it. It’s a present to cherish.

A Little Merry & Bright

It’s the dark season. I need light.

Two strands of garland: $1.98
One string of mini-lights: $2.00
Pleasure derived and sanity maintained: Priceless

christmas 2007 window

I also strung one set of lights (minus the garland) in the office room window. Heck, when Stella goes to use the catbox, doesn’t she deserve a little beauty too? 😉

This was easy and stress-free to do. Someone reminded me that small is beautiful and wished me to have myself a Merry LITTLE Christmas. Ahhh, permission. (I may, I might, still put up the tree. But only if the idea of it provides joy to me and triggers a sense of relaxation. Husband is waiting while I mull it over until next weekend. Well, he told me to wait, and since he’s the one who knows where the stuff is stored and has the strength to pull it out, I’m compelled to oblige.)


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.