Yesterday turned into another insanely busy day for me. Oddly enough, I wasn't annoyed by the flurry of activity - but instead I felt rather blessed and encouraged by it. I have quite a few tubs of Christmas decorations lying about. My typical approach to the holiday decorating is to drag out every tub I have and one by one set out every single thing I have. Last year I think we knocked the process out in less than an hour. Me, unpacking the items, barking out orders to helpers "this goes over there - NO! NOT like that dumbass - like this - Jesus can you not remember what it looked like last time? THAT is how it goes." It was NOT joyful. And when it was finished, I barked out some more orders, "Now get those empty tubs put away. This house looks like shit."
This year, I'm trying a different approach. I think I already mentioned that I'm only putting up one tree this year instead of two. And I let the kids decorate that tree. There was something "off" about that tree. Every time I walked by it in the daylight and could really see the decorations, there was something that made my OCD kick into high gear. Something that caused me to NOT want to look at it because it made me nervous and anxious. I'm happy to report that yesterday, I figured out WHAT the exact problem was. It was this damned "sugar-coated" candy garland. See, there wasn't enough of it to properly go around the bigger tree that we're using this year as it was purchased for a smaller sized tree. So we had just kind of draped it on the tree - here and there - and it stuck out like a turd in a punch bowl. HERE I AM!!! THE CANDY GARLAND!!! SEE ME?!!! Yeh. I see you - you fucking candy garland - you're making me nervous and upsetting me. So I just marched right over to that tree and tore it off. All of it. And instead of placing each crappy strand into it's own ziploc baggie for safekeeping, I wadded up all the strands and threw them in an empty tub. HA!!! I can deal with that mess when I put the decorations away in January. I'll regret that move - but when I turned around and looked at the tree - I saw 18 years of love and memories - 18 years worth of ornaments the kids have made and collected and received.
Ornaments I purchased for the kids when there was no money for ornaments. Crappy little plastic figurines that I paid 50 cents for. And I remember how they smiled with joy when they got them - because the prior year the tree had been nothing more than red ribbon bows for decor. Their little eyes sparkling and their squeals of delight - "Look!! I got a Mickey Mouse!" "Look! I got a guitar!" The ornaments my mom has given them each year. The ones I have given them each year - representing their interests at the time. All beautifully displayed on the tree and easy to see and appreciate without that fucking candy garland in the way. I was so pleased with myself that I just walked around the tree - fondling each ornament and letting the memories come back to me. Where once the little black converse shoe ornament adorned the lowest branches because that was as high as the Prodigal son could reach, it now hangs on the highest branch - because he's as tall as the tree now and the blonde gets the lowest branches. The tree is now PERFECT!!
But it was missing the skirt. So I marched to the basement, dug through some more tubs and found the skirt - then marched back up and got it set up. And then I wrapped the presents that the UPS dude had delivered and placed them around the tree. There. NOW it looks like Christmas. And then I started digging in other tubs that were out. And I as I unwrapped each item, I made a decision - do I love this? Does it bring me joy? And if the answer was no - then it went back to the tub. And only my absolute favorite things that make me smile made their way out for display. The things that cause me to giggle with joy. And I placed them randomly around the house - in placed they had never been before. It was great fun! I still have 12 tubs to go through. But I'm not doing it all at once - I'm doing it during breaks I take between work projects and meetings. So it's like a little treat for me! And somehow in the process, I am finding the joy in my heart that I know exists and should shine through this time of year.
I was crazy busy with work yesterday also. Worked all day. Spent time with the family and then worked some more into the night. But it's okay - because it's warm in the house, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and I'm not being a raging control freak bitch about it!! I think I might have even heard the girls giggling with each other this morning! It's going to be another great day!!!