Monday, December 07, 2009
Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. (Larry Wilde)
When I got home from work today I pulled all the holiday boxes (all eleven of them) out of the storage room and carried them upstairs. I've been asking the kids to get them for me since Thanksgiving, and finally decided that if I wanted something done I would have to do it myself. Once I started the actual decorating, the kids got a little more interested. It's really beginning to look like Christmas around here.
One of my favorite things about decorating for the holidays is that it always leads to reminiscences of past celebrations. All the best family stories get retold, often from a different viewpoint.
For instance, I remember that Becka was always the one who insisted that we leave cookies and milk out for Santa Claus every year. Every year there was a big production to choose the very best cookies for Santa. There was one year that we ran out of milk. I tried to convince my youngest that Santa would be just as happy with apple juice or eggnog. But Becka insisted it had to be a glass of milk with the cookies. So I found myself driving around town after midnight on Christmas Eve, trying to find a grocery store that was still open.
When Becka was finally asleep, I'd carefully take a bite of each of the cookies so that there would be evidence that Santa had been there. I'd also drink half the glass of milk, even though I absolutely hate drinking milk. But it was worth it, since every Christmas morning Becka would be so excited when she checked the plate of cookies. It was always the first thing she would do Christmas morning, even before looking under the tree at the presents. Christmas morning memories will always begin for me with that squeal of "Santa was here, mommy! Look, he ate part of my cookies!"
That's how I remember it, anyway.
Becka told the story a little differently today. It seems that she could never figure out why Santa Claus didn't like the cookies she left out for him. She knew he didn't like them because he would only take a bite of each one; he never ate the entire cookie. Every year she would try to pick out the very best cookie of the ones we had made, and yet Santa would taste it and put it back on the plate. She remembers the squeal as "Look, he only ate part of my cookies!"