Friday, November 23, 2012

Ushering in the Christmas Season

 A Thanksgiving picture of the Joseph clan.
 The cousin table.
 Snuggling with Connor.
 Enjoying some time with my sister in law, Heather.
 My sweet niece Caroline snags her mom's heels.
Chris takes a moment with his parents before they turn into snow birds for the winter.

Just this week I was flipping through the latest's Southern Living magazine.  It was the December holiday issue and I've learned from the past that magazine certainly does holidays right.  I salivated over page after beautiful page.  The house decorating spreads were truly impressive.  The photos captured perfectly dressed rooms accessorized in holiday golds, crimsons, and greens.  I was inspired and vowed to decorate our house just as nicely for this holiday season.

As soon as the last morsel of turkey was consumed, I was already thinking Christmas.  This morning, I declared it the Wood family Christmas season and immediately unearthed our Christmas decoration bins from the basement.  My activity attracted a crowd (of boys), they rushed down the stairs and huddled around the boxes.

I soon discovered I wouldn't be decorating alone.  It seemed (to the boys) that this decorating project required many hands and lots of opinions.  Cooper fancied himself as a junior decorator and took to placing holiday decorations wherever he saw fit.  I quickly realized we had different creative visions.  I was thinking more Southern Living, he was going for a more eclectic look.

Just when I thought I might explode.  Cooper stopped tailing me.  I breathed a sigh of relief and went to busying myself with stocking placement.  Then I heard Connor say, "Cooper, did mom say you can do that?"

After a decade of being a mom, I know that phrase means:

1) The child is up to no good.

and

2)  There is no way I would ever, ever give a child permission to do the activity.

I rushed to the voices and found Cooper taking pictures out of our family photo album and "creating" Christmas cards to distribute to family and friends.  I internally chanted "His heart is in the right place.  His heart is in the right place."

As I neared the decoration process, I scanned the house.  It hardly resembled a magazine spread.  Holiday items were randomly strewn around the house.  Homemade decorations, gifts from little boys from Christmases past, took center stage.  Breakable snow globes and fragile candle sticks were placed high above the reach of little hands.

I thought about the decorating homes in Southern Living again.  I realized I never saw children pictured on any of the pages.  Perhaps there's a reason those homes looked so good.  

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