We have a tradition of putting a big red Santa tree topper on the tree and playing the Beach Boys “Little Saint Nick” while we start to decorate the tree. My dad had a very specific way of decorating – “nice ornaments go high”, “heavy ornaments need sturdy branches”, “don’t hang ornaments on the tinsel”, and so on.
Our tree is something of a phenomenon each year in our neighborhood. Any normal time of the year, my dad is acutely aware of how big the front room is and how much space it can hold. But come Christmas and suddenly he is Clark Griswold. The tree has YET to fit in that space, it’s almost as wide as is it tall, and there are so many lights and knick knacks being strung around the tree – and the house – that I’m sure the neighbors experience electricity drain.
The one thing that my dad instilled in me about Christmas is the joy of watching others open the gifts you give them. I love watching my family’s reaction to what I picked out or made for them. And I especially love it with Caden. Seeing his mouth drop open in a jaw-dropping “O”, eyes so open they stretch from his eyebrows to the end of his nose, and the little boy shriek of excitement. That kind of reaction is something I could bottle up and re-open everyday and never get tired of it. I love Christmas!!