Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Hanukkah Day

This past week I feel like I am doing nothing but playing catch-up. I feel constantly behind, not measuring up, and trying to remember everything I have to do but mostly remembering what I've forgotten. Overwhelmed.

So, Saturday we devoted to cleaning cleaning cleaning organizing cleaning, and then to finishing our Christmas decorations. I had had mostly everything up, but somehow the tree did not get decorated. So, after the house passed inspection, we made Christmas cookies, decorated the tree, and went to the end of our dock to watch the Holiday Boat Parade. It was a nice night.

Sometime during the day I must have mentioned that it was the first day of Hanukkah. We have some dear Jewish friends, and my girls remember doing Sabbath with them, and some other fun Jewish celebrations.

So as we are eating cookies and decorating the tree, trying to keep Jack from eating ornaments, and peeking out the back windows to see if the boats had reached us yet, the girls singing along to Christmas music, I hear Laura sigh happily as she reaches for a tall branch and say, "Oh, Mommy, I just love Hanukkah Day." Gary and I had to do everything we could to keep a straight face.

I always have the most ferociously ugly tree on the block and I love it. Well, not the tree, just the decorations. The tree is a fake one for the past two years. It was my Great Aunt's tree. She died of breast cancer about three years ago, and I would take care of her as she became weaker and noticed she left her tree up long past Christmas. At that point in time she had to sleep on the couch in the living room for comfort. She would keep the tree lit all night long, and it brought her great comfort and joy. Of course when she had it up, the ornaments matched and coordinated perfectly and it was a sight to see.

Under my care, however, it is still a sight to see, but for very different reasons. It is now a hodge podge of mismatched hillbilly ornaments. All my kids' homemade ornaments, their picture keepsakes, are all on the tree. I let them decorate it with no interference from me...with the exception of a few expensive and breakable ornaments I place at the top (like my beloved Disneyland Paris ornament with Sleeping Beauty's castle). This is MONUMENTAL for me because I'm a terrible control freak so it is saying something for me to let my tree have 552 ornaments on the bottom three boughs and a few scattered ones at the top. But my feeling is that I only have my children excited and small for a few years, and then it's gone forever. It won't be long before they don't have the same magical excitement, and then I guess I can coordinate it all I want. So for now, go ahead and wince when you walk in and see it, but it makes me happy the way it is.

This picture does not do justice to just how ugly it is. I think the piece de resistance is the baby gate surrounding it.
On the dock, watching the parade of boats all decked out in lights and decorations.

To see pictures of the boat parade, go here

Trust me, it's worth it.

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