The boxes sat stacked by twos in the corner of the living room. Her dad had pulled them out and placed them there as he did every year. She never knew for sure where they were stored. I suppose that added to the magic that filled this time of year. The boxes would sit there day after day, awaiting the weekend when the family would pull out its contents and decorate for the holidays. Once the boxes made their appearance, she would run home from school every afternoon, drop her jacket and backpack at the front door and head straight for them. It usually took a day or two to work up the courage to peek into a box, her parents warnings to leave the contents stored until Saturday now mere whispers in her mind.
Only she knew how much joy the contents of these boxes brought to her. Most would assume that joy was reserved for the packages under the tree on Christmas morning. Dull gray boxes covered in dust were no comparison to the decorative wrapping of actual Christmas gifts with shiny bows and pretty tags. Yet, she anticipated its treasures with as much enthusiasm as she did Santa’s arrival. She loved recounting each ornament’s story as they placed it on the tree, careful to describe the details exactly how her parents had been telling them year after year. However, her favorite find was an artificial Christmas wreath with a little elf perched right in the center, long striped legs dangling off the edge, a mischievous smile on its face and jingle bells on its hat. Her siblings would find their favorite part of the holiday decorating, whether choosing the Christmas cassette to pop into the stereo or untangling the Christmas lights that would adorn the tree, but she would hold off until she discovered that wreath and hurried to hang it on the front door. She lived for that moment when the chaos of decorations strewn across every surface came together. And, as they stood in the darkness and lit the tree for the first time that season time stood still and all was right with the world. That day, their living room was wondrously transformed into a snow globe scene of sorts, where a little shake of its contents created magic right before your very eyes.
Do you have a favorite Christmas decoration that brings a smile to your face every year?