“maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more…”

Haven’t been keeping up with posting on here at all like I was hoping to, but have resolved to try harder in the new year (hello, 2015!!!)  Our first holiday season as a married couple has come and gone, and it was truly a whirlwind (but a good one!).  I started packing up some of my Christmas decorations, and was feeling super nostalgic. Most of my decorations are hand me downs from my mother that I acquired in the process of cleaning out my parents’ home this summer after they sold it to start a new adventure.  I have definitely purchased some items here and there but nothing has brought me greater joy than displaying the ceramic Christmas Tree that my Grandmother made for me in her crafts class, hanging the hand-made wreath my sister-in-law made us last year in the hallway, or ceremoniously progressing my childhood advent calendar from 1-24 (although my fur-kids didn’t seem to really get it.  hopefully one day we’ll have some human-kids that will!)

photo (4)

Childhood-Turned-Forever Advent Calendar. Yes, the date-marker is a mouse. I love this thing.

Our tree is covered with ornaments that were given to me by dear friends and family at my bridal shower, where one of my genius bridesmaids suggested a Christmas Tree “Wishing Well” in lieu of a traditional one, with guests bringing an ornament instead of a small household item.  I have to tell you, not only was I floored by such a thoughtful, useful and beautiful gesture at the time, but it is something I will cherish, remember and relive every Christmas for the rest of our lives.   Our tree is topped by a creepy angel that I found in one of the many boxes from my parents’ house, that my husband can’t stand the sight of (which I naturally find hilarious).  And I can’t tell you how many times he has asked me, “Where did THIS come from?”, while holding up a random hand-me-down chotchkie- most notably, the two strange Christmas rabbits that we had to put away early because Ellie started barking at them non-stop and we couldn’t take it anymore.

photo (5)

Really can’t blame the dog for being frightened…

I have to say, my favorite bit of Christmas decor this year was actually a happy accident.  I was looking around for a card tree and couldn’t find any that felt “right”.  We dug out the twine/clothespins that we used to hang up photos at our wedding, replaced the pictures with holiday cards, and hung them in the hallway as a “good-enough” solution to tide us over for this year.  I absolutely love it.  I can’t wait to collect cards and hang them proudly in this way for years to come.

photo (6)

Our accidental, imperfect card display. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The tree didn’t turn out the magazine-perfect display of white lights and gold ribbon that I had pictured.  One of my husband’s presents was only covered with paper, and not actually wrapped, because I lost the tape on Christmas Eve and gave up.  I still haven’t figured out how to masterfully prepare and time several different dishes that require different temperatures and durations in the oven, so I’m sure many of the dishes we served to our families on Christmas Day were lukewarm (or overdone).  But, we were surrounded by family.  Our home was filled with constant reminders of our loving, supportive family & friends.  Tokens of Christmas’s past. Promises of Christmas’s to come.  We are so blessed.

One of my favorite Christmas-movie moments is from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, when the Grinch realizes that Who-Ville was celebrating Christmas in the absence of all of the treasures he stole from them.   Thank-you, Dr. Seuss, for your words of wisdom, delivered by a scary green monster, that really capture what the holiday season is all about by identifying what it’s NOT about.

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy 2015!