Growing up, decorating for Christmas was a true delight. A plethora of new decorations was added to the Hilgers’ Family Collection each year that my brother and I were in elementary school. As I got older and stopped making construction paper ornaments with craft yarn, the Christmas collection was very carefully curated by my mom. I enjoyed helping her decorate our family’s home with treasures from 3rd grade’s Christmas Around the World curriculum alongside souvenir ornaments from trips to places like Hawaii and Wyoming. My dad would joyfully (or at least appear to be joyful) string the colorful lights along the shrubbery in the front yard. It was a magical time.
Ben and I are celebrating Christmas for the first time in our circa 1940 bungalow. Last year at this time when were under contract, I dreamed that 2013’s holiday season would feature twinkling lights wrapped around the white pillars that frame our blue front door, which would be adorned by classic natural swag. As guests stepped through the threshold, they would be immersed in a charming Christmas scene complete with vintage red bows, a mechanical train set, gifts sweetly wrapped in burlap and twine, a retro copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas gingerly placed on the coffee table (next to a plate of gingersnaps of course), and the aroma of a freshly cut Frazier fir gleaming with winter’s first frost.
Perhaps this vision is best fit for 2014? I should have remembered when planning out the lights and the tree that we have yet to complete our electrical grounding, nor fix the few outlets that plum don’t work at all. As I unpacked all of the two Rubbermaid bins of hand-me-down Christmas decorations (ok – there are a few decorations we’ve collected over the years!) and started to hang the lights, I quickly realized I am mimicking Clark W. Griswold’s extension cord technique, only without the return of the brightest house on the block. Needless to say, decorating for Christmas at the Pritchett house was a rude reminder that although we are blessed with running water, gas heat, and Netflix, our lovely home still requires much TLC!
I know that when we are able to make it on Raleigh’s Holiday Lights map or host the Cameron Park neighborhood party, we will smile nostalgically when reminiscing about Christmas 2013. In fact, I’m very thankful and excited to see how our collection of holiday decorations will grow and be curated over the years, just as it did at my parents’ house as a child.