Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas traditions

When I was a kid, my dad always decorated the tree, including losing his shit about putting the lights up. I don't know how he did it, but he always managed to pull them out of the box looking like he just wadded them up and threw them in there. He would throw the biggest fit, but our tree was always the prettiest when he was done. I remember my mom always wanting white lights on the tree but my dad always insisted on having colored lights, and I agreed because I agreed with everything he said back then. It was also full of different kinds of ornaments and had their own special bulb, and of course, there was tinsel all over the tree. Back then we didn't care that it clogged up the vacuum or got stuck everywhere.
My dad also took it upon himself to wrap all the presents. He would lock himself in the bedroom and I could hear him in there just getting all kinds of mad but he would come out with the most beautifully wrapped presents you had ever seen. I guess all the cursing was working for him. When I got older and I was allowed to cut off pieces of tape and pass them to him, I felt very special and learned a lot of new cursewords.
When I was in my twenties, I always made sure to have a Christmas tree even when I lived alone in a cockroach infested, one-bedroom apartment -- just me and my roaches.  If you have ever lived in an apartment that has roaches, you know you can't get rid of them. If you bomb the apartment, they just go next door and wait till you are finished.  Now that I think about it, I didn't even own a T.V but I had a Christmas tree. 
When I had my first baby I made sure to buy all the little ornaments that said baby's first year on them.  I made sure that Joshua had a pretty Christmas tree because you need your traditions, especially if you are far from home.
Moving back to Germany in 2000, I let my American kitsch hang out and I decorated the living daylights out of my house and tree -- I am talking all-out glitter, fake snow and lights everywhere.
 
I have toned down now, though just because it is a tremendous amount of work, getting everything to look christmasy and still be able to function. Through the years, I have always had fun decorating the tree and now that the kids are big, they are helping me and I am letting them do more and more.
Buying special ornaments every year is my favorite tradition for the tree and once the kids move out and have their own tree they will have memories of Christmas at home. thank goodness without the roaches.
Christmas makes me sappy and mushy, can you tell? Gah...the feelings. 

Take care, 
Julia

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