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T-minus five days and counting… December 19, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, Uncategorized.
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It just dawned on me—well a few hours ago anyway—that Christmas is in five days, not including today of course. That means, only a couple of days left to ship packages via Priority or Express mail to ensure Christmas Eve delivery at the very latest.  For those who may be wondering, how on earth Christmas managed to sneak up on me despite the fact that Christmas products have been on store shelves since Halloween ended and some stations have been playing Christmas music 24/7 since Thanksgiving, and lest we not forget the neighborhood Christmas displays that have been sprouting up since Thanksgiving like so many mushrooms after a week of rain. 

It’s not quite Christmas yet in our house, despite the fact that we did Christmas with half of my in-laws already. We haven’t put up the tree yet or decorated yet. My husband and I both grew up with doing the tree on Christmas Eve, so it’s a tradition that we continue. While our son is fascinated by all of the lights in the neighborhood, including our own partially-done ones, which my husband started to set just before it got cold and icky out; and the fact that he got to help grand marshal our city’s holiday kick-off parade and be the first one to sit on Santa’s lap, he has no clue, to the best of our knowledge, that he knows it’s Christmastime. 

While other houses have had trees up for weeks, threatening to be great kindling, and the twinkling lights have added much cheer to our frosty streets, inside our house, it’s just any other day–until Christmas Eve that is. I guess I’m kind of a purist. For 12 days, it will be Christmas in our house—okay, 13 if you include Christmas Eve, but who’s counting? My husband and I will pull out the Christmas boxes, our wonderful pre-lit tree that my husband got for a song on the 23rd last year and I’ll start wrapping the immediate family gifts. We’ll head to midnight Mass (weather permitting) and then after putting the little guy to bed (again), we’ll tackle the boxes of “some assembly required.” (Last year, it was our true initation into parenthood, our first Christmas of assembling toys into the wee hours, the night before Christmas.)

This is where my fun comes in. I love making Christmas happen “magically.” I love wrapping gifts—regardless of the season or reason for giving. To me, there is something important about making the package look and feel special, no matter how modest the contents may be.  Beautiful paper, gorgeous ribbons, perfectly sculpted packages of goodness—I revel in it, even though in a fraction of the time that it took for such artistry, they will be torn apart and ripped to shreds. But that’s okay. I don’t mind. It’s part of the experience…and it’s the overall experience that I love. Which is why, I guess in some ways, I don’t want to prolong Christmas. I want the experience to be one that we anticipate, so that we can enjoy it to its fullest extent while it is here.

Copyright © 2007 Erika-Marie S. Geiss



1. Writing the Cyber Highway - December 19, 2007

What a lovely and magical blog entry, Erika! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with such heart 🙂


2. Dawn - December 19, 2007

What a great post!! I always wanted to implement that Christmas Eve tree tradition… but DH is always shopping on Christmas Eve! 🙂
I love packaging too! I used to put candy canes on all my nieces and nephews gifts, then I switched to little stuffed animals. Now as they’re older I try to at least put bows and paper in their favorite colors, paper I know each person will like!

3. chocmoon - December 19, 2007

The Christmas Eve tree — a great tradition and saves electricity! My husband and I both grew up with the tree going up three weeks before Christmas.

We just have a very small tree on top of our media cabinet so the cat can’t get it. One string of lights is all it takes.

Merry Christmas.

4. Arachne Jericho - December 20, 2007

In the wee hours putting together the assembly-required toys… that will stick in my mind, because I’ve never heard about (or even thought about…) that.

I love wrapping presents. Even though I’m not very good at it.

I’m very new to Christmas traditions, actually, so I very much appreciate this post; it’s a lovely description.

What is this pre-lit tree you speak of? It sounds really convenient!

5. emsgeiss - December 20, 2007

Thanks for all of the lovely comments, everyone! 🙂
Arachne, last year, we decided to go for an artificial tree, even though both my husband and I grew up with the smell of balsam from real trees. It eliminated the annual tree hunt, which admittedly, I do miss a bit, but certainly not in this snow (LOL). But anyway, some trees have lights already wired, so you plug it in, and it glows…no more tangles of lights, or getting wrapped up like fly in a spider’s web while trying to string the darn things, no arguments about *how* the lights should be strung properly and so on. A delicious invention! The funny thing is how we got the tree, which I think may make a good post.

6. Arachne Jericho - December 20, 2007

I seem to have problems with stringing the lights, so a pre-lit tree sounds awesome. I haven’t gotten a tree yet (never seem to find the time), but perhaps this year (late as it is).

Would love to hear how you got your tree. 🙂

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