Friday, December 13, 2019

Making Christmas Magical

Our Woolworth Nativity circa 1970
Christmas is a season of twinkling lights, memory-filled ornaments, baked goods and making memories.  When my kids were little, I would go all out to decorate the house, shop til I dropped, wrap gifts and cook either Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas dinner.

I always wanted my kids to have wonderful Christmas memories but to all the mom's out there, you know just how exhausting that can be.

As time went on and the kids became adults, the effort was still there but it was steadily decreasing over the years.  The real tree became artificial, then the full size tree decreased in size to a 3 foot tree with lights already attached.  Last year I was so tempted to not remove the ornaments when Christmas was over and just wrap the tree in saran wrap and put it away until next year. But, I didn't.

This year is a little different.  The grandkids are living so close and visit daily so I want to make their Christmas memories magical and long-lasting.  I say long lasting because I can still recall with great clarity my special Christmas memories from when I was a child.  My mom made Christmas special with her homemade decorations for the front door which consisted of styrofoam letters spelling out NOEL.  Then she would go to the dry cleaners and ask for a few of their plastic bags they used to cover the cleaned clothes.  She would cut the bags into strips, using a pipe cleaner to twist around the cut strip, she would make little poofs (similar to a pom-pom) and embellish each styrafoam letter with multiple poofs to make 3-D door decorations that hung vertically on our front door that she would cover with metallic wrapping paper.

Her decorations for the home were consistent, sparkly glitter golden snowflakes for our dining room mirror, a nativity scene that we put together from Woolworth's (which I still have) and her red satin Christmas balls that were on every tree.  It was the continuity of the decorations showing up every year that gave me comfort and joy.

 My dad has his own special decoration that I helped him make when I was about 10.  It was a large wooden cross with holes drilled for Christmas lights that he would pull out of the attic every year and lean it on the side of the garage every year.  Dad was not that handy with tools and the fact that he even knew how to use a drill still amazes me to this day.  The lights were fairly secure in the drilled holes, but he wouldfurther  secure them with black electrical tape, that would fall off every year.  He used black electrical tape for everything.  I mean everything.

When I am tempted to do less for Christmas because it can be so much work for just a few weeks, I think back on my memories from my childhood memories and reflect on just how grateful I am for them and how much love the feeling when I am drawn back to those simpler times.

This is why I have put up older decorations in my house, to invoke the memories from our families past Christmases for those who live here, and for those who visit during this holiday season.

This is why I put blow up Santa's and Blow up Snowmen in the front yard as well as decorating the whole house and fence with lights.  I want to impress on my grandkids the joy of Christmas and continue to build their memories of our family time.

It is all about family and making memories and making Christmas magical for the grandkids, my kids, and my husband. This makes my heart so full.


  1. I am non-religious but still decorate for the holiday season. I often wish I was more motivated, but am always thinking about February when I have to put it all away!

    1. Putting it all away is the downside, and I am usually done with Christmas the day after. Poof! It is all taken down and put away. I still may saran wrap the tree to speed things up.

  2. My mother never put up anything that I can remember. She was too abused, harassed daily, and pregnant and tired. But, I do remember she made Christmas wonderful. We children made paper chains for the tree and doorways and brought home our decorations made at school. Yet, she was the heart of Christmas.

    1. God bless your mom for making Christmas wonderful, Linda.

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