Decorating for the holidays is such a fun opportunity for making memories. There’s just something magical about transforming your home for Christmas.
In our family’s first house, we had only had room for a small 4-foot tree on top of a table, so when we moved into our current home one of the first things I wanted was a big tree. My wife is not overly excited about decorating in general, so early in our marriage she would just keep me company while I decorated the tree. (This might also have something to do with me moving ornaments to the “right” place when she helped!)
Our daughter, Bex, who was almost 3 when we moved to our current home, had always loved the Christmas tree, but that year she was particularly excited. She was standing on a stool in front of the tree, her little arms in the air, exclaiming, “Mommy, I love it!! Do you love it?! I love it!”
And just like that, I knew I had this precious little girl who loved decorating for Christmas as much as I did. We’ve learned throughout the years some ways to make it fun for everyone:
- Establish traditions. We typically host Thanksgiving and as our guests are leaving, the outside Christmas lights come on for the first time. We put our tree up that weekend, too. We light a fire, turn on Christmas music and unwrap each ornament so we can remember where it came from and how old Bex was when we got it. It’s a little trip down memory lane every year.
- Don’t stress about your house or tree looking perfect. These days, I work very hard NOT to move the ornaments when someone else puts them on the tree. I even tried one year to wait until Bex had gone to bed, and she completely busted me the next morning. So now we decorate the tree together; Bex mostly does the lower branches and the grownups do the higher branches. As Bex has gotten older, she’s developed her own preferences in decorating. We now have a small collection of nutcrackers that she is always so happy to get out and place around the house.
- Use what you’ve got. We have a lot of Christmas decorations. We buy one new ornament on every trip we take, and I buy one each year for Bex to someday put on her tree. I have made a promise to myself that I won’t buy anything new until I have gotten everything else out. I move things around so that it looks different (but not too different because TRADITION). In my flower shop this time of year it’s all about Christmas greenery, so I get extra to put around our house. There’s just something so special about the smell of fresh greenery.
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and the best parts for me are the times spent with my family without feeling rushed or pressured. I carve out these moments whenever I can and just take in the joy of the season. Sometimes I stay up late to just sit and look at our tree while the house is quiet. And then I go move just a few ornaments to make that tree just right!!
Cole Dewey owns Cole Dewey Designs, a specialty flower shop, specializing in weddings and special events, including Christmas! Cole is a promoter of kindness and authenticity. Follow her on Instagram @cole_dewey or find her at www.facebook.com/coledeweydesigns or www.coledeweydesigns.com.