We’re still pretending to be in the holiday season. This is mostly just because it gives us great joy, and we need great joy! Our tree still stands and lights our house beautifully.
Our neighbors, they are sort of newbies at Christmas. Most of what they know about Christmas is from us–what they see us do and how we celebrate. So if we keep our tree up until mid-January, they are going to think you do too!
I think it is more and more fun each year in the community. First, being the newbies they are, there aren’t any expectations. Really, they weren’t even expecting a tree, so having one in every room isn’t even thought of. A theme? Unnecessary. A fresh tree or hand-crafted decor? Never even knew it was a possibility, because I haven’t done it yet!
When we put up our Christmas tree a few weeks ago, each child would come home from school, peek in, and give a shout. We had the curtains pulled, but they could see the lights reflected in the tile, which still garnered oohs and ahhs from the door.
They gift us so many ornaments–including but not limited to–stuffed toys they like to hang from the branches and sparkly disco balls.
Really, it’s just Christmas through the eyes of a child; it just happens to be both children & adults! It happens to be an entire community enthralled with the lights and ideas and traditions, curious of why we do what we do.
The kids often have small present exchanges at school, which they like to have the gifts wrapped for. One morning I saw a little girl with her box covered in wrinkled wrapping paper and then held in place by a few rubber bands. I asked if she’d like some tape, and maybe a ribbon?
Her present went to school lovely, and she was enthralled.
And per usual, I didn’t think through the consequences of such a small suggestion. Each morning by 7:30am we had kids at the door waiting to have their presents wrapped and tied up. They were thrilled at how well I could wrap–“She can do it!” they’d say over and over again as I flipped around the package and made nice little creased triangles on the ends or fancied up a bow.
We went out one night for a community Christmas photo. They loved the one from last year and admired it for months, so we thought we’d try again. We just invite anyone who’d like to be in it to join; we used for our Christmas card, and then (soon I’m sure!) we’ll print it out and give one to each family.
Nyein Nyein, one of the ladies who bakes bread each Thursday at our house, just had her baby on 1 December. He looks just like his dad, and here he is being held by his grandmother.I mean, really? Who wouldn’t love to him in your home every Thursday? I also love it that Stephen captures these memories so well.
Being the first week in January, I’ll try to let that be a wrap on Christmas–even if we sit by the tree and listen to Christmas music tonight!