Take time to experience the holiday season

Published 9:16 am Monday, November 26, 2012

I did it. I did not do as I usually say. I let my grandkids put up my Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I did hold the line at the big tree. I allowed only my small trees and the other zillions of boxes of decorations to be smattered and scattered throughout my home.

I relented because they were here, they were excited, and they like to help with the Christmas decorations. It was a slim chance they would be here again for very long before Christmas to help me with the design of my Christmas decor.

I must warn you that if you visit my home during the Christmas season my decorations will not be fancy-schmancy. Some of my decorations are old, some were made by my children and grandchildren, some decorations were given to me by friends and some were created by me. I have a lovely hodgepodge of decorations. None of them is very expensive. My house decorating would not meet the HGTV or the Beautiful Home criteria, but they are fun. They are not tasteful. I don’t think my decorating sense will ever be tasteful.

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The smiles of the faces of the grandkids when they finished decorating made up for the fact that I broke my golden rule: no Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. The antics of my new kitten as he tried to climb the miniature trees helped me know that it was the right decision. Borris is preparing for the bigger tree and bigger climbing adventures. This gives me time to convince Borris that trees are for sitting under and not climbing.

The decorating got me started with my holiday mood. On Nov. 18, we attended the Albert Lea Cantori concert “Singing in the Season” directed by Eileen Nelson Ness. It was one of the most beautiful concerts I have ever attended. The music was beautiful, soothing and gorgeous. The concert was performed by a very talented group of people. It was a perfect start to the holiday season.

It also reminded me that we need to have a balance in our holiday preparations to remind us to stop, take a breath and remember the real reason for the season.

I imagine I will receive lists from my grandchildren for their dreams and wishes for gifts. I have plans for creating some, shopping in local stores for others and not getting caught up in the frenzy of the shopping season. I am not going to get into the shop till you drop mode this year.

I think I will make a list. Everyone else has a list, and I might as well have one too. Have I behaved enough this year for Santa to visit?

This is my list:

• A year’s worth of meals in the freezer for dinners so I don’t have to cook.

• A trip around the world.

• A housekeeper to clean my house daily.

• Valet parking for my customers.

Actually that is my fake list. When I started thinking of a list for Christmas shopping for me I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted that was worth making a list for.

My favorite gifts are those made by my grandchildren, children and my friends. If I had to make a list for Santa I would ask for peace in the world, food and housing for all the homeless and good health for my family and my friends and myself. Those would be the best gifts in the world.

We anticipate the holidays. Each year Christmas shopping and decorations get moved earlier and earlier into the stores and into our homes. We must feel the need to feel that Christmas spirit earlier.

By the time Christmas arrives the anticipation is either so great that the actual event is disappointing or we are tired of the hurry and scurry that have become our lives during this season. We often long for the calm of January. Occasionally when we reach that momentous month we look back and realize that we didn’t take the time to enjoy our decorations, the music, the food and the time with friends. We were too busy trying to perfect the holiday.

Some night before Christmas, sit in the dark with only the Christmas lights glowing. Listen to the beautiful holiday music. Experience the stories of Christmas with your friends, family or yourself during this time. Remember those who are not able to put food on the table or are injured or ill.

Remember those who have lost a loved one during this time which makes the season occasionally hard to celebrate. Take time to experience the peace of the season. Those are the memories that will stay with you long after the presents have disappeared.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net.