Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pride Cometh Before the Fall - - or HUGE Crash....

So as most of you know, Christmas is big for us.  I love decorating for Christmas.  Every year at the after Christmas sales, I stock up buying lights, greenery, ornaments, you name it, I love it!!!  I even have it all organized (or at least I did)  Until we moved here, it was all clearly labeled in totes on shelves in the garage.  Here, it is all still clearly labeled and in totes, but just in a huge stack in the corner of the basement :)  You can see my storage system here and look at past pictures of Christmas here and here.

This year has been harder for me.  We have been traveling a lot and very busy getting ready for hubby's deployment.  He leaves the day after Christmas, so it is kinda hard to get in the Christmas spirit, just for the fact that once we actually acknowledge that it is the Christmas season, then we also have to face the reality that he is leaving :(   And by the way, I think every store has a countdown for how many days until Christmas.  I never noticed that before, but when you only have to add one and you get the number of days until hubby deploys, you really start to notice!

But, Christmas is all around us, and it is my favorite holiday, so this week I finally gave in and started decorating.  I was insistant that this year we would not begin decorating or listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving - - we were successful with that!  But, in keeping with my "lighter and brighter" theme and knowing that what goes up, must come down.... I have only put up a tree, set out a few things on shelves and tables, and decorated the fireplace mantle.

I was quite proud of myselft for putting up any Chirstmas at all, and then on top of that getting it all done in one day!  It usually takes me at least two weeks to get it all up!  Here-in lies the pride from the title....  As I went to bed last night, I was composing the perfect blog post in my head (do you all do that?).  I was showing beautiful pictures of the tree, with perfect closeups of the ornaments; georgeous pictures of the mantle with all the lovely delicate mercury glass trees and ornaments.  I was working on all the wording, making sure that you could experience it all, as if you were right here at home with me.  I slowly drifted off into beautiful sleep dreaming of the perfect reveal I would have for you all in the morning.  ENTER THE FALL - - yes, at almost precisely midnight my beautiful dream was brought back to reality with a massive crash that I have never in my life heard before.  Hubby and I jumped out of bed and went running - - he to the kids rooms to make sure they were fine (he had no clue what the noise was) and I went running downstairs knowing for certain what that noise was.....can you guess?  The tree?  No, it was standing tall and proud.  The mantle?  yes...  What a sad, sad day to wake up to a massive crash and find that all the pretties you had so carefully placed there just hours before were now shattered into millions of smitherines and coating the carpet like mercury glass fairy dust.

You see, our house doesn't have a mantle, we have a fireplace with nothing over it, just a flat wall of drywall.  Blah!  So when we moved in, I decided to hang a shelf that I had that perfectly fit the space and to anyone looking at it, you would think that we had a very modern mantle.  It was so convincing, that I forgot it was just a shelf and it could not support everything that I had put up there.  Everytime I put something up, I thought, well, this is really light, so it should be fine.  When I cleaned up the class this morning and put it all in a box, I realized that I probably had almost 10lbs of glass up there.  OOPS!  Lesson learned!

So, there aren't many pictures of Christmas decorating for you to see because I hadn't taken any pictures of it yet, I was waiting until this morning to do that.  I guess you will just have to try to imagine what this huge pile of broken glass looked like when it was all nicely displayed on the mantle!!

Charise put it all into perspective for me this morning as she was watching me clean up the glass she said, "Aww, Mommy, that makes me sad because it was beautiful.  BUT (said in her charming optimistic way) at least we still have the tree and baby Jesus didn't get hurt."  She's right, focusing on the real reason for Christmas always helps put things back into perspective.  Christmas isn't about trees and decorating or pretty mantles for that matter, it isn't about presents, and ultimately it isn't even about family - -- - - all those things are great and good and we should enjoy them, but Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus our Savior.  If we use decorating, and gifts, and family to help us celebrate, then even better as long as our focus remains not on material things, but on Jesus Christ who was born on Christmas to save the world!

The nativity scene that we always put under our tree to remind us of our greatest gift.  Charise loves to set it up and play with it all season, this is currently how she has it places, but I guarentee that it will change at least 15 times today!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures of the tree and details!!


Anonymous said...

I agree with your baby girl, at least Baby Jesus didn't get hurt.
I wonder if he sometimes sees us as that pile of broken glass and weeps as he puts us back together piece by piece. Amy you did a beautifl job decorating but an even greater job of teaching your child the true meaning of Christmas. We are praying for your family today and always.
Donna Church

Jennifer said...

Oh, my, Amy - you dear soul!

2003 was like that for me: Christmas coming, brand-new baby and Hub deploying right at New Year's. On the one hand thrilled with baby, but on the other, dreading that first deployment. It really puts a damper on festivities.

There are some years, though, when Christmas is less about the happy times, and more about the deep joy that sustains us and allows us to persevere in faith, even when the world (especially the mercury glass world) is crashing down around us.

Bless your heart, mama. Challenging times; I will keep you in my prayers. +

Unknown said...

Out of the mouth of babes .... So sad that you lost so many beautiful Christmas Decorations, but so like a child to put it all into prospective! It also shows what a great job that both you and Jason are doing raising and training your children. You should be proud.
Our prayer with be with all of you this holiday season. I know it will be both a happy and sad time for you. Make sure you take lots of pictures AND videos (borrow a camcorder if you need to) so the kids can watch it over and over while Jason is gone.

momma-o-minnie said...

You have done so more than I ever did when my husband deployed! I found it a struggle to even put up the Christmas tree, and then I would leave it up until almost Easter, stripped of the ornaments, of course, but just sitting there waiting for me to get the courage and emotional strength to remove the lights and the branches until it was just a stick in a stand.
You have so much to be proud of! What an awesome mom to go to such great lengths to keep your family normalized! And to continue to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas at a time when your family is mourning the loss of their daddy! Wow! I've known lots of families that just fell apart over exactly what you are bravely enduring...
By the time you are my age, you will realize that things are just that: things... sticks and stones... nothing can replace the moments you have with your children, the memories, the love. Not one decoration, not one gift.
Enjoy Christmas - with all its shattered-ness. The things that fell symbolize the dreams that fall every year. What makes a person courageous, what makes a person strong... is how they react to the the changes and the losses - do they focus on the loss or do they look at the opportunity (a new chance for another, better mantle, one that your husband will build for you when he comes back?) and do they spend their time dreaming of what was or focusing on what will be (the return of our Savior?)

Infarrantly Creative said...

OMG that is tough! The glass looked beautiful even all cracked. I am glad baby Jesus was safe :-) That is all that matters.

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