Growing up, my family had always decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Dad would be outside putting the lights on the house, then come in and help Mom get the tree down from the shelves in the storage room. Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas CD’s would be playing on speakers throughout the house. Dad would put the tree together while Mom and I got the bins of decorations down and start trimming the house. Certain decorations had their place, and others would move around each year. The advent calendar that Mom made at the beginning of their marriage went at the bottom of the stairs, the music snow globes went on the buffet table in the dining room, the stockings went on the fireplace screen near the tree with the Dayton’s bears and Snowden nearby. The manager was set on the coffee table near the tree, complete with straw, the shepherd and his animals, the three wise men, and the angel sitting atop the roof looking down at the manager where Jesus would lay. Next to the manager sat the old family bible from my grandfather’s side.
This year was different. Decorations are going up a week late since the winter crud decided to come for a visit Thanksgiving week. Unfortunately, Dad wasn’t able to be home since a snowstorm was expected, so J and I were out putting the lights on the house. Then back inside we went to warm up from the single digit temperature with Christmas cookies and hot tea. Mom and I got the tree down and set it up. Fewer bins were taken down, and fewer decorations were put out this year.
While less was put up, the staples were all still there. The advent calendar at the bottom of the stairs (though a different one – one that mom and I made together – we each have one), the Christmas tree with the trimmings, the stockings on the fireplace, and the manger on the coffee table. And of course, Clifford was trying to help the entire time. And by help, I mean playing on the bins, chewing on the tree, and chasing the tinsel as it was thrown on the tree.
What are your staple decorations each year?