Much as I am saddened to see the autumn season come to an end, it makes my husband, Jim, delighted when I spend about 12 hours decorating Red Oak House for Christmas. He is just a big kid at heart.
I’m stubborn about not taking down the autumn decorations until Thanksgiving has passed, even though I began seeing Christmas decor all around our town two weeks ago. Jim kept asking me when I was going to do the deed, and I told him not until after I had attended the Moscow Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker with a dear friend, as that would surely put me in the holiday spirit.
Once I dig in, we go all out here, as we have two lifetimes of Christmas decorations in our storage, including a set of Waechtersbach dishes from Germany. I began collecting the dishes in 1981 when I was given a gift of a two-tiered cookie plate. Sadly, that plate was broken several years ago when we made the move to this house. By collecting a few pieces each year, I put together a fairly complete set.
Father Christmas is also a recurring theme here, and Jim even has “Santa on a Buffalo’ from some years past.
Like so many others, I am filled with nostalgia when I unwrap these things and place them around the house. I text back and forth with my friend, Pamela Jean, who gave me this lovely glass hummingbird ornament many years ago and she tells me she still has a wreath I gave her. I know at her church in Arkansas they are busily preparing for Advent, and these rituals link us no matter how long it has been since we’ve been together.
The days are growing shorter here on the northern Plains, and thus we fill our lives with the light of Christmas.