I don’t remember a lot of extraneous Christmas decorations when I was young. We had a well-lit tree, some knick knacks around the house, and maybe a year or two of outside lights lining the house, but that’s about it. I was fine with all that. The holiday spirit was still alive and well in our house.
Now I get much more “in” to the holiday spirit. I don’t know when it started – whether it was when I had kids or when we got a house of our own… But I love getting new Christmas decorations. They put me in such a good, jolly mood. If only I had the space to store it all. It’s probably good we have a small house with little storage space; otherwise, I would go a bit overboard with my Christmas decorating. Holiday pillows, hand towels, candles, wreaths, plates, glasses – it’s no wonder the Christmas industry is a year round one!
All that being said, I still get weary of Christmas decorations that make their way out right after Halloween. Uh, what about Thanksgiving? What about finishing up the fall season? (There are completely different decorations for Thanksgiving and Autumn!) Our town had wreaths on the light posts 2 weeks ago. Target has had the Christmas section of the store for weeks already. It’s a bit crazy!
So when Jeremy was eager to get lights up outside last weekend, I was very concerned. I had already stated that the Christmas season should not start until Thanksgiving is officially over. I didn’t want to be the house that walkers-by rolled their eyes at over the “too early” decorations. But we had help lined up, and because it’s nearly impossible to get anything done with the kids around these days, I felt we had to take advantage.
As of Sunday night (4 days before Thanksgiving), we had lights up outside. Mind you, this is the first year we have ever done lights outside, so it was a big undertaking – learning how many strands we needed, how to perfectly space out the lights on the leaf-barren trees… But it’s done. And heck, it even inspired Jeremy to install our landscaping lights that have been sitting in the basement for months.
The white lights twinkle. They sparkle in the damp night. At dusk every evening, I relish in the beauty outside in our yard. And I realize that it isn’t necessarily all about Christmas to have these lights up. It makes me feel warm and cozy like crisp fall days. It makes me give thanks for our small quaint house that is filled with love and laughter. These are the feelings of Thanksgiving. I am thankful for these lights for helping me slow down and take a deeper look at everything around me. Because once the Christmas tree goes up this weekend, we will dive headfirst into the Christmas season and slowing down will not really be an option. I see the lights, and I’m thankful for them and all they represent this week.