IMG_4947You’d think, at age 61, that I’d be considering “scaling down” my holiday preparations. That maybe putting up four trees (living room, rec room, bathroom, and bedroom) would be too many. That hanging glittering garland in every archway and embroidered stockings from every cupboard was a bit much. That covering the bottom half of the windows with the cling-on snowflakes was unnecessary and time-wasting.

Yeah, you might think that—if you didn’t know me better.IMG_4991

Christmas is “my thing.” Always has been, but more so after I moved into the house in which I still live, back in 1984. When I first looked at the house with my realtor, we walked through the entire place, then sat on the steps leading from the living room to the dining room. I motioned to a place against the front windows, pointing up and down from the floor to the 12-foot ceiling and back down. “The Christmas tree goes there.”

Seriously. That was how she knew I was going to make an offer!

IMG_4992And that first year, with a 12-foot tree in that exact spot, I began my quest to surround myself with the holiday spirit by decorating every single room. I started with what meager decorations I’d had in my tiny apartment and have added to it year by year for 31 years.

This year I crossed the line that marked “more than half my life” in the same house. And when it came time to take the totes and boxes of decorations down from attic, I wasn’t surprised that their numbers are more than the years I’ve lived here. Wowza! When will it be “enough?”IMG_4948

Not today. That’s all I know. Today I’m still physically able to get the decorating done in a timely manner, although I do grouse some about my aching knees and lack of help. But the Christmas Spirit continues to live here, and in my heart, and I can’t think of a really good reason to give it up. Not today.

Today, eveIMG_4949ry stocking and every stuffed animal has a story behind it. “Aunt Jo gave me that pillow.” “I got this ornament on our trip to Hawaii.” “This stocking was made special for me to celebrate 10 years of sobriety.” “Those balls for the tree came from Librarian Pat at my housewarming party.” “This tree, and that angel, were on the stage when my Christmas Trilogy plays were performed.”

And on it goes. How I love this season!