I was raised by a mother that has all kinds of holiday spirit. Growing up I really didn't appreciate it and just took it all for granted. Now that I'm all grown up with kids of my own, I'm really touched that my mother always went through the effort of decorating our home during the holidays. I cherish those holidays past.
Her holiday home décor ideas have always been easy and practical with a fair share of whimsy and frivolity. She does things like adding holiday specific throw pillows to the couches. Replacing everyday comforters on beds with cute holiday inspired quilts. Candles in appropriate colors for the season make appearances. And you know what? It really does add to the spirit of the season and make you feel more festive.
The present finds me far away from my mother on most holidays, but my mother still finds a way to spread her mirth by sending me holiday inspired gifts. My teenage self would have rolled her eyes at such gifts, but my grown-up self loves them. I open care packages filled with placemats for our Thanksgiving dinner, ornaments for our Christmas tree, and all sorts of sparkly knick-knacks to bring in the New Year and I feel the love, I feel the joy.
These gifts keep giving year after year because part of the fun is pulling them out of storage every year and letting the sweet memories of holidays past sweep over me and sharing those memories and creating new ones with my daughters. My daughters are very young, 4 and 2 years-old, the memories that their traditions will be built from are just being created.
The year that my eldest was born, we were gifted with a ridiculous battery operated Christmas stuffed animal style penguin that moves and sings, "Feliz Navidad." I though the penguin was not only ridiculous, but totally useless until I saw my daughter's face light up with joy every time that penguin sang, "Feliz Navidad." Now that penguin is a staple of our holidays. My eldest forgets about him all year long, but when I pull him out of storage, she squeals with delight. Her squeals are now echoed by her younger sister.
This holiday season we have already decorated for Día de los Muertos, Halloween, and we're in full swing for Thanksgiving. I love the bonding that occurs as we decorate, I love the opportunities to share stories of family that are far away, I love seeing our home all dressed up for the current occasion.
How do you make your surroundings and loved ones feel special during the holidays?