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Love the Decorations

168. Love the Decorations

I woke up this morning to a decorated house and over the years I have learned that I love it. I get them out on the first day of Advent (yesterday) and I leave them up through January 6 (Epiphany). But the main thing is that I love every minute of those 36 days.

There are a number of scenes set in my three small rooms. In my bedroom is that old, old, wooden barn, and the manger bed is empty until Christmas morning. There are candles surrounding the barn, including stained glass trees. And on top of my laundry hamper, sits Rudy, a genial reindeer who if you push his paw will belt out “Jingle Bell Rock.”

In the diningroom are several scenes. On the table is the Advent wreath, which now has one candle that has been lit. And beside it is the angel chimes which my grandchildren assured me “dinged” even though I couldn’t hear it. On another surface in the diningroom is a wooden carousel with all the pieces and parts of the Christmas story rotating when the candles are lit. And hanging from the window is the paper chain, marking the days until Christmas. On one of the bookcases is the wonderful basket for cards received. Above another bookcase is the manger scene that Aunt Fran painted years ago. And on still another bookcase is the snowwoman cookie jar, new this year, just waiting for her first batch of oatmeal cookies. And as I sit at the diningroom table, above me floats the foil Santa, which I have hung for over 30 years.

In the livingroom already there are stockings hung on the mantle, and on the bookcase is the Advent tree, with its first ornament already hanging, waiting for one to be hung each and every day. On top of the wall of bookcases there is the ceramic tree at one end, and a lit Mary, Joseph and child at the other end, with Christmas coffee cups in between. And on the round bookcase there is a small metal tree waiting for its ornaments since the decorators ran out of steam and said “This tree can wait for another day.” Even the dolls and bears in the small child’s rocking chair have new things on. Belinda (the rag doll) has a Christmas bib, and the fancy bear Lila and David gave me six years ago has her Christmas bell on for the holidays.

I’ll relish these decorations — all of them — every single day that they are up. For they speak to me of the merging of past and present, of fond memories and new births today, of love from friends and family, of new opportunities for me this year to reach out in love. Advent has begun and my decorations shout it out daily.

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