A number of years ago, my mother decided – in that whimsical, haphazard way that mothers have – that I not only collected Snow Babies but that I also collected Santas of assorted styles and demeanors.
Some of them are encased in snowglobes, some are clutching candles, one of them in particular actually looks a bit as if he is panhandling.
Hey. It's been a tough year.
You know, once you’re guaranteed a Snow Baby every year, your future – and your reputation! – is pretty much determined.
I am now a Decorator for the Holiday.
Such a process! Starting the day after Thanksgiving, the everyday stuff comes off the walls, the breakables come out of the vitrine, everything that has a seasonal replacement makes its newspaper-wrapped way down to the basement.
I’d like to say that I then clean thoroughly. But I don’t.
And then the holiday frippery goes up – fake boughs upon fake boughs of greenery, glass ornaments on hooks, velvet ribbons, pretty holiday cards I’ve framed for the walls, boxes of Snow Babies and ceramic, glass, metal, wood, and rubber Santas.
Well, no; I don’t really have any rubber Santas.
But wouldn’t that be kind of cool?
Or maybe one made out of gold-spray-painted elbow macaroni? That would be cool, too.
Ha! Maybe Mom will read this and I’ll get one this year.
Anyway, after a full day of decorating in November, it all comes down again the first week of February.
In my earlier years, of course, it was possible for me to leave my Christmas tree up until April.
Thank heavens I entered a rehabilitation program for the seasonally challenged.
I remember the first meeting: Hi, my name is Pearl; and my Christmas tree has been in the corner of my living room for almost five months.
Luckily, my husband acts as my sponsor. Willie, my task-driven overlord, starts itching to take it all down within minutes of unwrapping the gifts. Both a curse and a boon, Willie’s drive to take care of things ensures that the snowblower is ready for the first snow, the lawnmower gets put away before it snows, and the Snow Babies come down before Easter.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? We're less than half way through December. We still have the shortest day of the year ahead of us, still have the cookie-baking, ham-slicing, gift-wrapping garbage-making back-slapping, hugging, kissing, laughing month of December ahead of us.
And honestly, I really don’t mind decorating for that.
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