Christmas decorating is not for the faint of heart. This year, because I know my husband’s heart just can’t handle twenty boxes of holiday “stuff” (or whatever he called it) I decided to do all of the decking of the halls while he was away for the night.
Won’t he be surprised, I thought.
Deep down I knew he would barely notice. I don’t blame him for it, really, because deep down spending hours changing the color scheme of my house to red and green for the very few visitors we host seems like a waste of time. But without it I know I just wouldn’t be very holly or jolly or anything else.
So while he was away, nestled all snug in his bed, I tiptoed downstairs and grabbed bins, green and red. With muscles straining because myself I did carry, I lugged them to the kitchen to start with the merry. I opened them up, wondering what I’d find there, and noticed that last year I packed nothing with care. There were wadded up lights, tchotchkes awry, evergreen roping that I should kiss goodbye. Elfin salt shakers and three hand print wreaths, I pulled glass snowmen from towels like knives from their sheaths.
As I tossed things from the boxes with noises and clatter, the children sprung from the couch to see what was the matter. “The problem, I said, to all that would listen, is that I don’t know where I put these things that will glisten. The house, it is full, enough is enough, and I don’t know where I’ll put this holiday stuff!” (Or whatever I called it.)
Less rapid than eagles, the children, they came, and I yelled and I shouted and I called them by name. “You help hang the garland and don’t whine, I forbid it! You set up the village, just find somewhere to fit it. Put these statues somewhere, just give them a squeezin’ and keep on a-smilin’, it’s the holidays season!
I spoke a few choice words and went straight to my work, thought, “Whoever saved these candy canes is a jerk.” (It was me.) The dust from the trinkets did tickle my nose, as I wondered where my giant singing Santa goes. I put bells on the doors, an elf on a shelf, and I laughed and I chuckled, in spite of myself. There was no room, like that night at the Inn, but I huffed and I puffed, and I stuffed it all in. Garland on furniture, pictures on tables, fake poinsettias stashed wherever was able.
And when I was finished, I let out a sigh. Christmas had arrived with time flying by. The carols still playing, the songs, oh, embrace it, as I hauled the last empty bin back to the basement.
I’m sure he’ll exclaim when he walks in the door, what a wonderful wife. How could I ask for more. (Or whatever he calls it.)
Originally written 11.27.16