The debate of whether or not to decorate for Christmas before or after Black Friday is an age-old one. It has brought many a family to turmoil when they cannot agree on when it is appropriate to hang the lights, put up the tree, and play the sappy holiday music. Where do you stand on this debate?
My husband would wait until right before Christmas happens, probably Christmas Eve, if it was left up to him. I, on the other hand, love to feel the Christmas spirit as long as possible. It brings back memories of my youth when things were still magical. This year I was trying to wait until the Friday after Thanksgiving so that I could give the respect that Thanksgiving Day deserves. Then a realization came to me that changed my mind.
Over the past four months, a lot has happened to my family. In August, I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant, and then after telling everyone, I had a miscarriage. This is my third miscarriage. It happened the day after my birthday, so at least my body was kind enough to not ruin my birthday. During this same time, we found out that my husband got the job that he had been going after for months. This meant that we would be quitting our jobs, dropping the kids out of school and daycare, and moving across the country to South Dakota.
Our move to South Dakota has been a very positive one. It has even begun to repair the damage of many bad experiences over the years, from bad neighbors to dangerous environments. With all of that said, it still meant that my family would have to adjust to our new environment. New people, new house, new rules, and even new weather patterns. All of this has put stress on all of us at times.
Lately, my husband has been working later and going to work on the weekends due to being on call for all emergencies. And even though I am now a stay at home mom, it still puts stress on me to not have my other half around as much. So, this morning when my children were grumpy and did not want to cooperate in our daily morning routine, I realized that what we all needed was a little bit of holiday cheer.
After dropping off my older children at school, I dug out some of the smaller holiday decorations. Then my daughters and I began to decorate their play area upstairs. I put the small fake Christmas tree together and they decorated it. I put a wall decal up and they helped decorate that too. It is a small step for sure. A four-foot tree and a wall decal may not seem much, but I think it will help my children begin to feel the holiday spirit. My hope is that it will put them in a better mood and give me a good reason to remind them that their actions may lead to no good presents.
Yes, I am one of those moms who use Christmas as a great way to help with my children’s behavior. It does not work for all children though. My two year old does not understand the concept yet. It would have been nice to use the idea that she would not get any presents if she acted badly last night at her brother’s school concert. She was definitely noticed by a lot of people when she talked loudly during all of the quiet moments and ran around the room. Eventually, this will help her behavior too.
I may venture into more decorations to help me with bringing back the magic in order to help me through the stressful times. I would like to say that I have not done so already because I wanted to ease our way into the holidays. That would be a lie though. We only have the small tree for the kids’ area. We usually buy a live tree for the living room. In order to bring the holiday cheer to my whole house sooner, I may have to give in and buy another fake tree.
Holiday magic is a real thing. It puts you in a better mood and can help you focus on the good instead of the bad. I think after the past few months that we have had, we could use as much holiday magic as we can get. So, instead of debating whether or not you should put up decorations early or late, think about if you need the holiday magic to make your day better. There is nothing wrong with doing something to make you feel good inside, even if it is just putting up some twinkling lights and a small fake tree.