I’m grateful for this beautiful distraction sitting on my shoulder when I lay down to take a nap. I had big aspirations today to get a lot of packages mailed, but I got distracted by a sudden need to fill the house with Christmas spirit. I turned on some music and went under the stairs to pull out Christmas decorations. To do that, of course, I needed to vacuum and dust and tidy some surfaces first, and there was lots of bending, lifting, stepladder climbing, and walking around. I definitely needed a nap by late afternoon.
It’s been seven years since I put out all the Christmas decorations. Ever since Kittens! I started putting out a few a couple years ago, and a few more last year, but some of my favorites were too precious to risk. Topaz is old enough to have lost interest now, I think, and Wren well behaved enough that I don’t need to worry. I set up the Cathedral Creche on top of the piano. This manger scene is almost as old as I am; it was bought at the National Cathedral gift shop almost sixty years ago, and I can’t even remember why it’s so special–something about its maker–just that it always was. I added a couple of animals to it in later years, but all the people and most of the animals, and the angel, came with the manger. It was always my favorite decoration to set up when I was a child; they were all alive to me.
I’m grateful I finally found a place to display Auntie’s Christmas tree skirt! This is also ancient. She made one for herself and each of her siblings before I was born. It was always the last element of our family Christmas to come out, once the tree was fully trimmed. There was always a debate about which scene should go in front, and it was always confusing: the skirt is slit in the back, and you never wanted the slit in the front of the tree, but then you could never get either of the skirt trees in the front of the real tree. Draping the TV with it allows both trees to shine! But I’m not going to leave it here long. I’ve already lost two ornaments just gently pulling it off in order to watch TV. I’m grateful to finally give it some air for the first time in decades. There hasn’t been a full-sized tree in my house since I built it. It’s lived here with me since my mother died, maybe she gave it to me a few years before when they stopped having a tree. I’ve felt wistful every time I pull it out of the Christmas trunk and put it back in unopened. I think it’s time to pass it on to someone else in the family… but to whom? There aren’t many left who would value it, and I can’t think of anyone outside the family who would treasure it the way it deserves. I’m grateful for all the ancestral stuff I have, but it’s also a burden–because it’s all alive to me.