Last year at this time, I had about as much holiday spirit as the bastard offspring of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch. For all my love of Christmas, I'd never been able to help having a little morbid twinge as I was packing the decorations away each year, wondering whether we would all be together when it came time to unpack them again, and this was the year the worst had finally happened.
I really didn't want to celebrate at all, and if it hadn't been for G, I probably wouldn't have. But she was only seven, and she was still excited about Christmas, so I had to suck it up and make an effort. Our tree, our ornaments and our Nativity scene were all in storage, and even if I'd been able to get at them, I probably wouldn't have been able to bear seeing them. So I went out and I bought a small tree that was one step above being a Charlie Brown tree, and I assembled it and plugged it in. Then I ran out of momentum, or heart, or something, and the tree just sat there, undecorated, for the rest of the holiday season. It's a good thing it was pre-lit, or it would have been dark as well.
This year, I've got it a bit more together. G and I braved the shops on Black Friday and bought a few boxes of new ornaments (I'm still not up to pulling out the old ones), and as of last night, the tree was up and decorated. We had to put it on a table this year because the cats wouldn't leave it alone, which turned out to be a good thing because the extra height makes it look less small and sad. Its feeble Charlie Brown-ish top branch isn't strong enough to support a regular tree topper, so after looking for one in vain, we bought a 99-cent wooden star cutout at Michaels, covered it with gold paint and a metric butt-ton of gold and pink glitter, and wired it to the branch with star garland. It's really quite sparkly and pretty when the lights are on.
As to whether I'll ever regain my old holiday enthusiasm, only time will tell. But it's not even December first yet, and I've got a fully decked-out tree ready to go. I could do nothing else for the rest of the season and still come out ahead of last year on the strength of that accomplishment. It's all about the little things, right? Right.