The Stockings are Hung

I love decorating my house for the Holidays. There’s something special about the way the decorations bring a lighthearted and hopeful feeling into each room.

This year is going to be a very different one for me. For the first time since my oldest two children were born we will be apart at Christmas. We’ve shared some great memories in this house, including running out of oil (which means no heat) on Christmas morning.

The timing of the holiday combined with vacation eligibility (or lack there of) as well as the high cost of travel forced us to come to the conclusion that this year we would not be able to be together. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a minor inconvenience and I guess in some ways it’s probably a sign of times to come.

We’re entering that transitory stage in life where my kids are building their own lives, and so too shall I continue to build mine.

I have to confess that I debated with myself about whether or not to decorate this year given the fact that we won’t all be together. When it came right down to it though, I couldn’t bear the thought of a stockingless mantel at Christmas-time.

My youngest son won’t actually admit it, but I think he would have been secretly disappointed if I had chosen not to decorate.

Regardless of whether or not we’re all under the same roof to celebrate during this time of year, our love for each other runs strong and deep.  It seems to me, that’s what the holidays are really about.

 

NYC in the rainy cold at Christmas

The Stockings are Hung and I’m Ready for Christmas Hugs

It’s a cloudy, snowy Sunday.

snowy winter day in PA

I slept in and had no intention of putting up my Christmas decorations. For the first time in a while I felt a bit lonely today. Thankfully thoughts of cozy evenings with my kids during upcoming holiday visits bumped my dreary demeanor to the curb.

Normally I put my decorations up the Friday after Thanksgiving. When the kids were growing up it was a tradition to decorate the house on Friday and go to That Pottery Place to make giant mugs, dog dishes, or holiday decorations on Saturday. I still have a few of the things we made, including my favorite over-sized bright green and blue polka dot coffee cup and saucer.

It’s never been great for coffee, it’s so big the hot liquid turns to room temperature almost before you’ve had time to take a sip. It does however, make a great place to keep loose change in case one of my kids needs a little laundry money to take back home with them.

change cup

It’s the first time in my adult life that I’ve decorated the house with the knowledge there was no one coming home this evening to enjoy the holiday transformation with me. It feels a little strange.

At first I thought it was silly to decorate until the day before the inbound Christmas flights arrive. But now that I’m done and there’s a stuffed Santa on the window seat, the stockings are hung by the fireplace, flames are flickering behind the glass doors and from the winter green candle tops, I’m glad I didn’t wait.

There are a few things left to do. I need to buy a wreath, figure out whether or not I’m going to replace my outdoor decorations, and last but not least put up the tree. The tree is going to have to wait until Christian gets home and has become our new tradition we’ll decorate it on Christmas Eve.

The stockings are hung and I’m ready for Christmas hugs and warm cozy nights.

the stockings are hung