It is black outside at 6:36am. The Christmas tree lights reflect in the dark windows like stars on the ground. Our kids do the holiday decorating, and they selected the glittery white, gold, and red ornaments this year, plus some family favorites like our son’s cheeseburger ornament, our daughter’s sparkling seashell, and my Santa sitting on a crescent moon with stars dangling overhead.
For the first time ever, I am happy with our Christmas decorations. In years past they’ve been random and mismatched, and we always stuck them on the coffee table and end tables where all they did was get in the way. They were annoying rather than joyous. This year we tried to keep the useful surfaces clutter-free. We need the coffee table for solitaire and Sushi Go Party!, and we need the end tables for coffee mugs and martini glasses.
We focused on the mantle instead, and with our daughter’s help, we kept it minimal: a red vase with some red berries added to our rest-of-the-year arrangement, two red candles with sugared cranberry candle rings, and my three cone trees — the viney green one, the silver and white dotted one, and the new red one that looks like rose petals, the one our daughter and I couldn’t live without this year. Beneath all of that we laid spruce boughs from the Christmas tree we cut at a nearby farm. It makes me happy to take it all in. It’s especially nice when flames dance in the fire place
The kids have a full day of school today, a half day tomorrow, and then they’re on winter break for who knows how many weeks. They are bouncing off the walls, as is to be expected. I’m sure once they are home for good, our daughter will start baking out of boredom. She’s already made snowball cookies, rum balls, sugar-spice nuts, a carrot cake, and toffee. Our figures will not survive her being home and having free rein in the kitchen.
I’m restless. I don’t know why I’m restless, whether it’s Christmas coming, anticipating the new year, staying home for the holidays, watching the kids pace and bounce. I’ve been devouring books lately. I’m working hard. I’m writing. And still, I’m restless. Whatever it is, I hope it eases soon.