Christmas is always such a paradox for me.

I love it, but hate so much that goes with the season like the decorating, the baking, the Christmas cards, the parties, the gift shopping… you get the idea. And, most of all, I hate the rushing to get everything done. I want to wiggle my nose like Samantha from the Bewitched TV series of the sixties and seventies and have all the preparations done.

At the same time, I miss all the falderol after years of not decking the halls. Why did we stop decorating, baking, and partying? Several reasons…

Last year I broke my right wrist at Thanksgiving and had surgery, so not much Christmas happened last year.

Before that, we were only at our cabin for December so it seemed pointless to decorate or bake at either the Colorado place or our Texas home, which meant three years of not much Christmas spirit around either homestead.

When we made the decision to move permanently to Colorado and put the Texas house up for sale, the Realtor said no Christmas decorations. We took her advice and celebrated the holiday sans decorations and homemade holiday treats instead we went to relatives’ homes during the season.

Our move and remodel/addition consumed two more years of no decorating, baking, etc. We always had a tree, though. Our son-in-law hiked up into the forest behind our house and cut one.

This year, we vowed to change what was becoming a trend of a minimalist holiday celebration. It is time to get back into the holiday spirit.

Boyton shirtI donned my “I hate this part.” tee shirt, gathered all the red and green plastic containers filled with years of holiday decorations, played Christmas music from satellite radio, and begin the arduous task of making the house festive.

Then the part of Christmas that I love came rushing back…

decorating 2flippedEvery ornament and all the decorations whispered a story. Memories brought smiles as we hung ornaments and added touches of Christmas to all the rooms in the house. We went slowly, taking time to relish each and every precious memory.

Seeing the house transform into a winter wonderland inspired my husband to make his famous Chex Mix. Familiar scents from that holiday favorite spurred plans for other traditions like his pralines and fudge.

I’m also planning to bake Christmas cookies for the first time in years. I’ve even started practicing Christmas carols.

decorating3flippedWe had helpers, who reminded us of Christmases past when our adult children were toddlers fascinated by the sights, the sounds, and the smells of the season.

It’s fun seeing all the familiar Christmas things again. We’re truly pumped about our celebration this year and refuse to allow even the tiniest thought about what has to be done to undo after New Year’s Day.

What about you? Do you have an “I hate this part.” of the season? If not, what’s your most favorite part of your holiday season?