We decorated for Christmas yesterday.
By “we” I mean Greg and I decorated for 6 hours and four of the kids decorated for 6 minutes and one teenager decorated in absentia.
By “Greg and I decorated” I mean we pulled out the Christmas boxes, discovered that only half of every string of lights worked, debated the merits of our disposable culture, decried our participation therein, rejected the temptation to buy all new lights, committed to being better stewards of our resources, cozied up to Google for light management lessons, headed to Home Depot to purchase a nifty tool that actually repaired our light strings, and, in the end, felt satisfyingly superior.
When I say “the kids decorated for 6 minutes,” I’m not including their help stepping on the light strings or their fights over stocking placement or the number of times they asked if it was time yet. Is it time yet? Is it time? Is it time now? How ’bout now? they said. And we replied, NO! It is NOT TIME YET. We are SAVING THE EARTH one Christmas light at a time. Now go use too much electricity to watch another episode of Phineas and Ferb and I will TELL you when we’re ready.
And by “one teenager decorated in absentia,” I mean she spent the day hanging out with a friend and arrived home after the other kids were abed and the light strings were repaired and the boxes were removed and the floor was swept and the work was complete and the parents were ensconced on the couch in front of Downton Abbey, and she wondered aloud why we chose a red and green theme when blue and silver is clearly superior, and she sighed sadly at our decorating ineptitude.
Like every one of the past ten years, my mantle proclaims PEACE throughout this holiday season.
This is my subtle little joke to myself.
It makes me giggle every time. And, oddly, feel at peace.
When do you decorate for the holidays? Last year, I put up my tree the day after Halloween. What can I say? I’m a weirdo. This year, I’m seriously considering following the Alaskan tradition of leaving my lights up ’til the Iditirod dog sledding race starts on March 2nd. It’s dark and dismal outside, so this tradition makes sense to me. Why do we take our lights down in January?? Thoughts? Doctrinal positions? Political statements?