I love the holiday season. I really do. I become a wee bit of an over-the-top joyous-jolly-jolly-merry-merry-type as the days leading up to the BIG DAY get "X'ed" off the advent calendar. I can't help it. Growing up, my family's farmhouse was always a festive place; a gift in itself to anyone that had the pleasure of stopping by anytime after November 28th. You see, our family always had a rule that we would not put up Christmas decorations until after Dad's birthday passed. We celebrated that event, and once Dad was another year older, it was time to really kick off the season. Sort of like how Thanksgiving is the festive jumpstart for most people; ours was Pops' natal day.
The house would be lit up form the outside in; huge floodlights splaying glorious rays of red, green, and beige light onto the cream brick, a beautiful silhouette of the pine tree on the lawn cast onto the exterior of our home, and warm shadows onto the floor in the "special" front living room. There was always an artificial tree, adorned with one of many "themes"; be it "retro" (many Papier-mâché ornaments, classic reds & greens), blue & while bulbs with beads and bows, or red birds & holly....with the one constant of my mother's sugar-starched crocheted angel, always perched atop the plastic pine.
There was the Crèche; the homemade wooden nativity stable and delicate figurines. The felt stockings carefully labelled using glittery paint in mom's cursive. There was also a plethora of vignettes all over the house; collections of nutcrackers & angels, greenery and poinsettias on the shelves, scenes of merriment on the walls, tables, & every nook and cranny imaginable. And, the house always smelled of Yuletide joy...whether from a gingerbread scented candle burning in the bathroom, or mom's Christmas cookie baking extravaganza going on in the kitchen. It was the most welcoming home in all of Christmasland. I swear. You could not help but be completely and utterly engulfed by the love.
Oh, and the traditions. We had so many of them. I could write forever......
I love the holidays. I really do. But this year is going pretty darn different. I suppose it is time to embrace some new holiday normals. So here we go; Pearson Christmas 2011. Let's see how this rolls out.
Niece Afton & I last year at mom & dad's in-town home