Who among us doesn't like decorating our homes at Christmas with our grandchildren in mind? It takes us back to our childhood!
This discussion came up recently with some fellow grandparents. We all agreed we love it, and we love this time of year. And to top off this discussion, I opened my Southern Living magazine, and Rick Bragg's column was devoted to this topic--grandparents and their over-the-top holiday decorating.
His original premise was that Christmas was for children, but that he had come to doubt that. He stated it was wasted on kids. His quote: "But the old...the miracle for them is in remembering a lifetime of Christmases past in every new season. Which, I guess, means the season is for children, after all." Love his turn-around and rethinking. (Insert smile here.)
And then this statement by Rick just has stayed with me. Wish I could write like this: "I love this time--every mile of country road and every aisle in every store picks the lock on one of those memories." Yes, "picks the lock on those memories." Love that.
I have a friend who decorates her house for Christmas in a big way--front yard, backyard, inside and out! We don't live in the same town, but I wish I could visit her street at Christmas.
I asked her to write a bit for this blog telling why she loves doing this so much, thinking she would say it was for the kids. And while it is, there is another poignant backstory to her decorating. Here, I'll let her tell you in her own words:
"I have always enjoyed decorating, especially at Christmas. Every year, when I would start, my oldest son, Wade, would say, 'Here comes all the Christmas crap.' Yes, that's what he called it--Christmas crap.
In 2000, he called me before Thanksgiving and said he and his family (wife and 9-month-old daughter) would be here for Thanksgiving, but would not be able to come back for Christmas. He asked if I could have all the Christmas decorations up for Thanksgiving, so he and his young family could enjoy it. This from the 'Christmas crap' kid! Of course I got it done. That started a tradition of decorating by Thanksgiving.
Wade was killed in 2006; now I decorate in his memory. And because I enjoy it, and so do my grandchildren and all the kids in the neighborhood. Makes the holiday cheery, and I'm pretty sure Wade is smiling from heaven."
So my message this week for all of us grandparents--go ahead! Decorate to your heart's content! I think we've earned all of our indulgences and eccentricities! Just go for it! And try not to pass judgment of those of us who go a little crazy this time of year. One never knows the back story.
Merry Christmas everybody! Let the family times begin!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!