Down Home: Decorating for days

Going through dozen of tubs full of Christmas decorations brings memories of mom but also makes me wonder why I have so much stuff, as I could never use it all.

Mom was the queen of décor and so much of what I still have, she made herself. I can’t bear to let go of any of it and when added to my own collection, it makes for more than one house can hold.

My décor is always a mix-match of anything and everything and would probably have sent mom over the edge, as she held true to a certain theme each year. Even her Christmas day outfit would match the color scheme, and some years it wasn’t the traditional red and green as she also loved to decorate with purple and pink or blue and silver.

As an artist at heart and crafter as a hobby, she made Santas, snowmen, ornaments, aprons and wreaths and painted Christmas scenes on everything from plates to platters. Each one is a reminder of the love she had for the holidays, as well as the need to have the family surrounding her while she celebrated.

Mom was the glue, the magnet which drew us all together, not only for Christmas, but for any and all special occasions she could come up with. I gladly fell into that role when she left us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

With each passing year it seems to get more and more complicated to coordinate everyone’s time on Christmas Day so we can all be together. I felt sorry for those who have to eat two mammoth meals in a day, so the last couple of years I’ve opted for lunch. Always lasagna and always at noon. I not only fell into mom's role of decorating like nobody’s business, but also the need for it to be the same time, same menu, every year.

During our last Christmas with Mom we decorated the house for her, as she was too sick to get it done. As my sister and I pulled out the decorations, she insisted we chose who would “inherit” the various décor masterpieces. Instead of it being a sad event, she made it into one of the best memories I have, as she passed the torch without regret.

Last holiday season was stressful, wondering if we should get together or not. I feel like I’m over-decorating just to make up for it. The fear of Covid isn’t going to stop me this year.

I took over the outside lighting, and to say it was a struggle is an understatement. When I asked the hubs each year to put lights in the tree I had no idea how difficult it is. Even with his nifty 15-foot hanger pole, I couldn’t get one strand to stay on the limbs.

The front of the property looks like it was decorated by a group of first graders as I wrapped all of the red lights, meant for the tree, onto the gate, and not in an orderly fashion.

It’s a good thing he doesn’t go anywhere at night.

Sandy Turner writes about family and lives in the Midwest.

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