Outside. But inside there are still bundles of orange, gold and red flowers in vases, leaf-trimmed plates, leafy candles, scarecrow wreaths and Happy Harvest signs. Oops. I am sure not on the ball this year. Actually, many years I don't even get the Christmas boxes out until 1-2 weeks before the 25th. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons.
#1- I like my house spacious and simple. I am usually just as happy to put all of the Christmas decorations away shortly after Christmas as I am to get them out shortly before. Don't get me wrong, I love getting everything out, lighting things up, feeling the nostalgia as I decorate to my Amy Grant Christmas CD. I love going through the items and finding the things that I bought on the clearance rack last year that I forgot I bought after Christmas. I love the memories of the decorations that my mom passed on to me (at least the ones that aren't junky or from 1972 and should have stayed in 1972). I love the twinkling of the lights. My favorite thing, which has also been The Prairie Kid's favorite thing, is setting out the beautiful nativity that my mom painted around 1972. Thankfully she chose a classic ceramic set and painted it with a timeless pearlescent white glaze. And the very last piece we put out is the baby Jesus, which was molded to fit neatly in the manger.
#2- I get sick of the commercialism of Christmas. The truth is that I do not enjoy the day the radio stations start playing Christmas songs in the mix. I get tired of the redundant commercials reminding me that many people don't even celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Santa has replaced Jesus in many homes. I truly, deeply want to focus on the birth of my Savior during this time. Sure, I know that you can completely get into the whole shebang and still have Jesus as the center. For me, I guess I just don't get into the whole shebang like some.
We still do plenty for the season in our home. This morning my sweet boy asked me if we could make Christmas cookies. Little did he know that on last year's clearance rack were some fun embellishments that I had picked up and waited to share with him on a special day like today. So, we turned on some Christmas music (yes, I have 3 whole albums and that really is quite enough for me) and we made gingerbread men and trees. We talked about Jesus and had fun eating some dough. I am not sure if more sprinkles ended up on the floor or the cookies!
There were big snowflakes gently falling from the sky and there was even a part of me that wondered if I should get out the Christmas boxes today. Will I be able to handle the decorations for 3 whole weeks? I think it is worth if for a little boy who excitedly asked this morning "Is it Christmas, Mom?"