You would think it would hit me as I’m pulling out the Little People Nativity set, but it doesn’t. Even though I have to bypass the gorgeous vintage porcelain nativity set left to me by my grandmother when I go up to the attic to get decorations. (The idea of putting that out is a joke.)
It doesn’t hit me as I’m hanging up huge plastic Christmas light necklaces. Or sticking Mickey Mouse window clings to the glass.
No, it happens when I pull out a small canvas, a Christmas present my oldest made in preschool last year. It’s green footprints pointed downward, a bow at the top, and the word “Mistletoes” written underneath.
That’s when I laugh and realize it.
My Christmases are not going to be glamorous. Not for years and years, if ever.
While I scroll through social media, I see beautiful trees with no ornaments at all, just maybe white lights and burlap ribbon. The mantles are stunning, with evergreen boughs and candles. Kids rooms and even playhouses are decorated much more beautifully than my humble living room.
On the other hand, our house has paper chains and jingle bells on doorknobs. It boasts a tree with ornaments all the way back from when I was a kid, that are quirky and non-matching and well-loved. And it has all kinds of handmade decor, but it’s by my four-year-old, not the artsy kind they might sell at Pottery Barn Kids.
But you know what?
I see the Mistletoes and think about how much has changed in the past year. I find my VW Bug ornament from my teen years and remember my love of all things 70’s. We pull out photos from my kids’ first Christmases and realize that we survived having a newborn for the holidays (and how much more fun it is now).
There’s nothing wrong with holidays to the nines. If you have time (and you happen to have kids that won’t disturb it), I will happily catch the social media photos of your pretty decor and enjoy.
But our holidays are cutesy and cheesy and colorful. It means a holiday that my kids can touch and feel and experience for themselves. We are building memories It’s laid back and simple and as unglamorous as it gets. And it’s ours.