Christmas in the Hawkins household
First and foremost, let me wish everyone reading this a happy and festive Christmas day. If you dont celebrate Christmas, then I hope you are enjoying a pleasant and relaxing Wednesday.
I, in fact, do revel in all things Christmas thanks to a slightly over-zealous mother who has been a Holiday Queen for as long as I can remember.
Growing up on an Oregon City Christmas tree farm, I always enjoyed this season because my mom went through extraordinary effort each year to make sure our home was decked from floor to ceiling with a vast splendor of lights, ornaments, wall-hangings and a variety of holiday knickknacks.
Although we celebrated the other traditional American holidays, Christmas was the one season where we would transform the house to match the season.
Our storage area in the loft – which I would shun for fear of the arachnid hordes that made their homes in the corners of the room – was filled with countless boxes of Christmas décor. Each year, these boxes would be hauled downstairs and unpacked just after Thanksgiving to get the family started on a month-long holiday festival.
Ive tried to carry with me this holiday tradition of making Christmas an extra-special time of the year as I have moved out of the house and begun my own family. My son, Arthur, is 3 1/2 and celebrating his fourth Christmas, and I want him to have the same level of excitement and warmth in December that I felt while growing up.
My mom has helped precipitate this by handing down boxes of old ornaments and decorations, and my basement is slowly filling up with the same large collection of tangled lights and packed boxes. This has the dual advantages for my mom of passing down a family tradition while clearing out additional attic space for her to continue collecting new holiday decorations.
While Arthur has generally celebrated Christmas in the past, at least as much as any red-blooded American boy who loves getting a boat-load of presents once a year, this year the whole Christmas thing seems to have finally clicked in his head.
In his first two years, Arthur didnt quite grasp the concept. And last year, he and I both spent Christmas in a clammy, light-headed fever dream of flu-induced hysteria our family dubbed Sickmas 2012.
But this year, he finally knows Santa Claus by name and is excitedly counting the number of presents that are stacking up under the tree each day.
This, of course, only fuels my holiday fire to deck our home with extravagant Christmas regalia for that one time a year when I truly care about decorating for a holiday.
Im excited to vicariously live through Arthurs holiday excitement as he continues to grow and look forward to each December. In time, I hope he will look back on these days as fondly as I did and carry on the tradition of bathing in an entire month of festive over-indulgence once a year.