I love the holidays and all the love and joy they bring, but I despise decorating for them. I admit I have very little patience and all these elaborate Pinterest items put my work to shame. I wouldn’t say I am Mrs. Scrooge because I still get butterflies in my stomach when I hear Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” chime from every radio station’s playlist, but I don’t yearn to spread my holiday cheer in lights, fake snow and mistletoes. An eggnog latte and a pumpkin muffin from any coffee shop is enough to get my jingle bells ringing.
My daughter thinks there is something wrong with me. She’s six. Her opinion is still up for debate, but I agreed to hear her grievances with my anti-decorating demeanor. She was rather honest with her assessment. “Mom, you are the only mom, who doesn’t like to decorate for the holidays”. When she approached me with this accusation I was caught off guard? “What do you mean?” I figured my question would challenge her to think and then she would just give up. However, she countered with a line I may have mumbled in the past, “You don’t want to ruin our new, fresh painted walls.” She got me. There was no arguing back. She was right. I couldn’t deal with all the mess or stress. For the first time in my life, I actually felt guilty about my anti-creativity holiday stance. Maybe there really was something wrong with me. Was I killing the December mood for my kids? Will they be scarred for life with out witnessing their dad and I shop for candy canes to hang, menorahs to light and snowflakes to stick on the windows? Should I be more willing and excited about giving up hours possibly even days of my time to create a winter wonderland? All of a sudden these thoughts overwhelmed me and I started analyzing the kind of message I was sending to my family, friends…oh no, the neighbors. Was I known as the bad Santa on the block?
I took a deep breath and then asked my daughter what she wanted to create. I would let her make whatever she wanted for the house and we could hang it wherever she chose. She decided on drawing a gingerbread man and a Christmas tree. Then, we cut out the sketches and taped them to her armoire so she can look at her display as she goes to bed. I think it took a total of 10 minutes, but the time didn’t matter. She was happy. And I was satisfied.
I realized the importance of decorating to her was not how fancy or glittery you get, but she wanted to make something special with me, her mommy. No judgments. It wasn’t the quantity but the quality of time we shared together. My 6 yr. old made me feel like a real dope and for a good reason. Thanks to her, I will never forget this year’s holiday and the important lesson I learned with our two make-do festive decorations.