Are you ready for Christmas?
We are. At least we’re as ready as we’re going to be because Christmas is here!
All the decorations are in place, some in the house, and some still in the basement where we store them. There are two reasons for that.
The first is there is no way we could use all the Christmas decorations we’ve accumulated over the years. We’d be walking on them.
The second reason is that the thought of taking them all down and putting them away is more than this old lady can cope with.
Even when the children were little we never decorated until after Dec. 9 because we have a birthday girl that day. It was a good excuse for putting Christmas off a little longer to buy time for a busy young mother.
Once the tree was up it was in a constant state of change. I remember our oldest son discovering an unplanned use for my new oven mitts. I wanted to use them for the purpose intended, but he was already using them to protect his hand from burning as he continually changed the old fashioned bulbs on the Christmas lights. “They last longer if you keep moving them around,” our then eight-year-old informed me.
Then there were the assortment of cats that sought sanctuary in the decorated tree branches. We lost the feathered bird ornaments during those years. Sometimes it was eerie to see living eyes watching from the tree but it was simpler to accept it than to suffer the destruction and rebuilding caused by cat removal.
As retirees we have already downsized from the huge Christmas trees of younger days. We bought a slim, six-foot model that stands on an end table that I no longer have to move. But, this year, we were asking ourselves if we really even wanted a tree at all.
Then two girls and seven grandkids, ages 12 to almost one year, appeared on the scene to help us decorate the Christmas tree. We turned them loose.
Amid warnings like, “The baby is eating the lights,” and “Now he’s tasting an ornament,” the bare tree was transformed into a thing of beauty with more lights and ornaments than ever before, probably because the decorators knew they wouldn’t have to undecorate.
I know I’ll always remember the look of amazement on the two toddlers’ faces as the string of lights they had draped around their necks were suddenly turned on by the unobservant light tester.
So we’re all ready for Christmas. The house is decorated, the food is prepared, the Nativity set is in place. Soon presents and people will be piled everywhere. We’ll attend Mass, and then we’ll have a grand birthday party for the Christ Child.
We wish you a happy Christmas, and we pray that the true spirit of Christmas may stay with all of us throughout the new year.