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Holidays / Motherhood

I Don’t Want to Deck the Halls or the Walls – Can’t I Just Take a Nap Instead?

One of my most cherished memories of childhood was taking out the Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and watching my mom untangle the lights and curse them as she wrapped them not so gingerly around the tree. The anticipation of getting my turn to take out my precious ornaments and place them on the tree was almost unbearable.

We always put holiday music on and danced around as we decorated and prepared for Christmas. During the season, I’d lay under the tree and sing Christmas carols. Even as I got older, I still looked forward to decorating – the lights, the glow, the smells, the garland, the bells, all of it. The holidays were so special.

Grown and with my own kids, I always look forward to putting on the Christmas music and listening to my husband curse a holiday tune as he carries everything up from the basement. We have a pre-lit tree, so I don’t have to fight the light stringing. Under the guidance of my mother-in-law I have added a miniature Christmas village under the tree. We have the houses, the lights, and the cheerful holiday shoppers in the town center carefully avoiding the wildlife overlooking the entire scene.

My girls are 7 and 11 this year and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to decking the halls. My entire view of the holiday season has turned on its ear. This all started last year when pulling everything out became more of a chore than a holiday activity. My girls spent about 20 minutes pulling everything out of the boxes and then disappeared to play the Wii. I was left to unpack the boxes, set the tree, plug in all of the village houses and hang the stockings with care.

Christmas decorating is like the daily motherhood grind of cleaning, but with  joyful Christmas crap instead of shoes, socks and school papers scattered everywhere.

To that I say “Ba-hum Bug!”

When I was a new mother, I was so excited to share every experience with my children. Now, as a *cough* experienced and worldly mother, moving furniture, chasing dust bunnies and shouting at my children to get their junk, I mean treasures, out of the living room to make space for the tree, has lost its appeal.

Who wants to spend a day prepping (cleaning) the house, stringing lights, digging out ornaments, and setting up cheerful village people who are just going to fall over and break limbs anyway, especially after cleaning the house for guests and dressing a turkey a few days prior?

Don’t forget Christmas music with my children now involves 80 rounds of the Chipmunks singing the The Chimpmunk Christmas Song. I begin dreaming of a white Christmas where I take out ALVIN!! and the rest of his rodent brothers.  Is that wrong?

Then there’s a month of tripping over all of the garland and jumping around the dark living room nursing an injured foot from stepping on stray jingle bells.

Everything collects dust and then the least anticipated chore of the holidays is awaiting at the end…packing it up and putting it away on my own. While my children play the Wii and ask me to move my head out of their view of the screen.

I’m not sure how much I’ll put up this year, but my guess is it will be minimal. We have a new kitten so I’m not sure I’ll even get the tree out. I can already hear someone shouting “TIMBER!” every few minutes while the cat rides the tree crashing down into the village.

I just don’t want to do all of the work of the holidays anymore. What I really need is a nap.  Can I get one of those under the tree? Please?

Susan Wells
Author: Susan Wells

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  1. So is this a bad time to tell you I’ve already decorated for the holidays? 😉

  2. I agree with and support what appears to be a minimalist perspective on Holiday decorating.I prefer to put up a couple of wreaths,scented candles,send the Hallmark cards and enjoy the family gatherings.It seems that the core holiday meaning can sometimes be easily eclipsed by rampant unrealistic expectations of the season.

    Family, friends and building relationships are perfect reasons for the season.
    I also resist the thought that more is always better, save your energy. Take that nap!

    To each his own,but Happy Holidays to all.

  3. This is why I refuse to decorate until December 1st. I need a week to switch gears from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

    Good luck with that kitten!

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