Today as part of The Virtual Advent Tour, I want to talk a bit about our long-standing family tradition of decorating for Christmas. Yes, I am aware that a lot of families decorate for Christmas, but we were always very specific about when we decorated the house.
My birthday is in December. In fact, my birthday is today. For as long as I can remember, we never EVER decorated the house before my birthday. It just wasn’t done. As soon as my birthday came and went, then the boxes of lights, decorations and tree parts (yes we were a fake tree family) would come out and the decorating would begin.
When I was younger and I’d see that some of friends’ houses were decorated before the 7th of December, I’d get confused. Didn’t they know the decorating rule? How could they be okay with putting up trees and reindeer before my birthday? In my young mind it was just wrong. I tried explaining it, but no one had any idea what I was talking about. Very confusing.
Now, I wasn’t an obnoxious kid or anything. I didn’t think it was because it was MY birthday. I genuinely thought that globally December 7th was the official start of the decorating season. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that when I was a kid, the stores tended to wait until the second week of December to unleash their massive Christmas displays. Oh and the Peanuts Christmas cartoon usually came on around my birthday, too. I think I was around 11 when I first realized that there was no official start date to the Christmas decorating season. But just because I realized it didn’t mean that we started decorating before the 7th, oh no. We still always stuck with the tradition.
I’m 37 now and my husband and I have our own house. And we have our own traditions. But we still don’t decorate until my birthday. It just wouldn’t feel right. And it still seems weird to me to see houses all lit up with lights before today. Over the past two weeks friends have been posting pictures on twitter of their trees and decorations all nice and sparkly. And it’s taken every last ounce of self-control I have not to say “Are you crazy? It’s not the 7th yet!!!!!”
So tonight we’ll drag out the Christmas totes. We’ll put on some Christmas music (something else that doesn’t make an appearance until today) and we’ll decorate our home. Once we’ve had some birthday cake, that is.