When I get home at 4 p.m., Kelly is dragging red bins full of holiday decorations up from the basement. I can’t believe she actually hauled them up the stairs all the way from the back of the basement. I’m impressed. But annoyed.

“Kelly, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”

“I knew it…I knew it,” she yells, exasperated by her Grinch of a mother. “You hate Christmas.”

It’s a total over reaction, but the norm for my eldest who seems unable to handle any sort of disappointment or criticism (even perceived). Resilience is a lesson she has yet to learn.


I don’t hate Christmas, but I don’t want to deal with this yet. There are nearly a dozen bins full of candles, stockings, ornaments, singing snowmen, aprons, dishes, towels, stuffed reindeer, etc. to be brought upstairs, unpacked and put on display.

And, I just. Can’t. Deal. With. It. The clutter. The mess. The endless “where should I put this, Mom?” questions.

What possessed me to buy all that stuff anyway? At what point did I think it was fun to spend an entire weekend Christmasing the house?

My mother does Christmas in a big way. It takes her not just one weekend, but several to decorate for the holidays.  And, I remember being my kids’ age and how much I loved it. The magic…the wonder….and how special she made the season, and still does, by going totally overboard.

I want to give that to my kids, yet, I long for a more simple holiday.

Later that evening, I’m scrolling through Facebook. A young, single friend has posted a photo of her little Christmas tree. It’s a small tree, maybe 4 or 5 feet tall, with twinkling white lights and matching bulbs, set in the corner of a sparse apartment, surrounded by several feet of apartment-standard beige carpet and eggshell white walls.

I’m envious of her little tree. Her simple holiday. The mere 20 minutes she probably spent decorating. And I wonder if she wishes she had the big house full of kids and toys and 14 bins of holiday decorations.

I should be grateful for the things that I have, but the older I get, the more my possessions feel like a burden…weighing me down.


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