Decorating for the holidays is an ordeal within my family. My dad’s side is simple but particular when it comes to how everything looks. My mom’s side is completely out of control, both indoors and outdoors. Every available surface is covered. We always spend a portion of the few days after Thanksgiving transforming Nana & Papa’s house into a Christmas wonderland that includes a large outdoor nativity, a tiny indoor nativity, a Dickens’ Christmas Carol village, a land of Snow Babies, two Christmas trees, and countless statues, lights, ornaments, and garlands placed and hung everywhere. Then there’s THE WREATH. It is this massive, heavy beast that requires both of my aunts, my parents, my siblings, and a few cousins to install on the chimney. I always find a way to get out of it.
We return home, where my immediate family proceeds to transform my parents’ house. My mom has inherited her parents’ taste for opening the attic door and allowing Christmas to spill out into every nook and cranny. However, she and my dad have blended their Christmas upbringings into a beautiful marriage of tastes. Yes, we have three Christmas trees, a nativity, a snow village, Santa statues, teddy bears, a small sleigh, an advent wreath, a holiday wreath, and countless other Christmas items in addition to our house being covered in white lights. The difference is that instead of it being insane like my mother’s parents house, our house resembles more of an elegant Christmas shoppe (it’s “shoppe” instead of “shop” to emphasize the elegance). My siblings and I adore being home during the Christmas season because my parents always put so much care into the decorating details.
Yes, decorating can be a terrifying, stressful ordeal, but it has also allowed for my brother, sister and I to develop beautifully fond memories of Christmas, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.