Christmas is my most favorite thing in the whole world.
I know, there are a lot of things that are my most favorite thing in the whole world.
But Christmas is up there at the top of the list of my most favorite things in the whole world of my most favorite things in the whole world list. Except maybe for stories.
My mom tells me sometimes the story of that Christmas in Colorado when I two and I cried because we had to take the Christmas tree down. I still don't like being around when all the Christmas things go away. One month is just not enough days to celebrate Christmas. It's not enough time to build up your anticipation any more. Sometimes I dislike growing up more than other times. And Christmas is one of those times.
But today is the day I'm sharing with you some of the things that absolutely must be there in my house for Christmas to be Christmas. It's just not Christmas without them. I don't know what I'll do when I go away forever. Move back in for Christmas, I suppose, husband and kids and all. Or I have this picture of my life having a disgruntled, messy college student look to it, where I come home to sleep because it's the only place I'm ever able to sleep and eat healthy food, and actually do stuff that's good for me, and hoard these Christmas items so it will be Christmas forever.
So, here is Christmas at my house. And if I only had these few items in my house at Christmas and nothing else but bare floor and a Christmas tree, it would still be Christmas.
This little Christmas house. I still want to go live in it someday. I still imagine living in it and looking out of its frost covered windows, living inside the warmth of the candle glow. I still remember Mama setting it out and being enchanted by it. It means Christmas just looking at it.
Baby Jesus figurine and sheep. We played a lot with this when we were kids. I think we broke the other Nativity pieces that went a long with it. But it's not Christmas without these sitting by our Advent wreath.
Spruce and apple/holly door hanging. If you bury your nose in it, you can smell Christmas. I still remember the cinnamon and clove scents it sent through the house when we lived in Wyoming at the ranch. How it just meant Christmas was here and you were happy.
Candle wreaths. These have a certain place and they do not belong anywhere else except on the top of the piano with two red candles that smell like apples and cinnamon.
These little things always come out for Christmas, completely immortalizing it and are the pillars of childhood I can return to when the world is cruel. When I forget what Christmas really is, I can look at them and remember what I felt like as a child with the clearest, most fond memories when I see these come out to sit around our house and wait for Christmas and Jesus. Sometimes the childlike excitement is gone, and sometimes it's not as strong as it used to be. But always, always, always on Christmas Eve, when everyone has gone to bed, and the stockings are laid out, and I'm laying in bed, waiting for sleep . . . I do think about what I'll be getting and the excitement of opening surprises and candy. But I think when you grow up and that kind of excitement fades, you get a new excitement. The excitement of giving, and seeing the delight on the faces of people you love when you surprise them. And that's an even more soul-filling excitement than getting.
Dec 7, 2014
On certain Christmas-y things that have been in my house at Christmas forever
K.M. Updike writes young adult and historical fiction and has a frustrating fascination with fantasies that gets in the way a lot. She is the author of the young adult historical fiction novelette, The Life and Death of Terry Dodd. A lover of books and prairies, she lives with her five siblings and inspiring parents in the wilds of the Great Plains. Besides reading books and writing stories, she loves watching old movies and drinking tea in her basement room dubbed "Mole End."