(Hey…so I know its July, but I thought I’d get to posting this much earlier than right now!)
Christmas!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! Christmas used to be my mom’s favorite holiday. She would go all out and decorate our house so much. Since this is the second year without her, it’s become my job to decorate in her stead. I am not at all good at decorating. I have ideas of how I want things to look but since I did not inherit the artistic gene from my mom, I try to make do with what I can do. 🙂
One of the things I regret is not helping Mom more each Christmas with decorating. I took it for granted that she’d always be around to do it so even though she always asked me to help her, I generally didn’t because I thought I wasn’t any good at it, so why mess up her perfect décor? I so wish I had helped her now. But, I am grateful that I can keep her decorating traditions alive.
Mom loved decorating our dinning room table. It’s always where the adults would sit during our family Christmas party. I love the woodsy, Scandinavian theme so that is what I picked for this Christmas. The reds, greens, and golds are so beautiful and, I believe, peaceful.
Mom was a huge fan of the word “joy”. She always exemplified it in her life. She had made this decoration before her death but we hadn’t used it in a few years. When I found it, I knew I wanted to use it in our family’s Christmas decoration. I think it blended well with all the colors from the dining room.
Another reason I loved this particular decoration is because joy is what Christmas is all about. Joy because of the Savior’s birth, joy in giving to one another, and joy because we are loved by the one true King.
This is what our living room looked like. I especially love the fireplace and the tree. When the main lights are turned off, the lights on the tree and fireplace would sparkle and shimmer in the darkness. It reminds me symbolically of how Christ is the light in the darkness. When all is dark around us, Christ is the shining hope in the darkness.
Christmas is beautiful. Its a time for hope, joy, and family. Even though it is so hard to celebrate with Mom being gone, it is always nice to see her legacy living on through us. We keep her traditions alive and through that, it is easier to celebrate the season.
My favorite tradition with Mom that I’ll miss the most, is on Christmas Eve she and I would take out her fine china and lay it out on our kitchen table so we could eat off it on Christmas morning. We would then cook the family’s favorite breakfast casserole and some form of sweet breakfast treat. I’ll always treasure those quiet moments with her before the craziness of Christmas morning came around.
I look forward to being able to continue her traditions throughout the years. Someday, when I have my own family, I want to be able to incorporate some of Mom’s traditions. Singing carols around the piano, crazy white elephant exchanges, setting the table with my daughters, decorating the tree with my husband and kids, tucking the littles into bed with promises of Santa’s coming, and then wrapping up the last minute gifts with my hubby while sneaking kisses under the mistletoe. Those are the memories I look forward to making, but for now, I’m so thankful for the wonderful memories I have of my parents and brothers from Christmas pasts.
Merry Christmas (in July)!
*8/4/17 Update: as I’m editing this post, on my Spotify I have a Christian artists radio station going, and what do they play? Christmas Shoes by Newsong. I cannot believe it. This song made me cry even before my mom died. But now though…I can relate so much deeper to the little boy in the song. Hang on while I go bawl my eyes out…*