Dear Atticus, the Christmas decorations

For National Blog Posting Month, I wrote a letter every day to my unborn son, Atticus. He’s due just after Christmas, so I have been thinking about him a lot. Thanks for stopping by to see my Christmas decorations!

Dear Atticus,

In this house, we really like holidays. From Abraham Lincoln’s birthday to the 4th of July (aka Birthday Eve) to the Great Pumpkin Party, we are big on celebrating. But we also like for things to have their proper time and place. We do not allow one tiny speck of Christmas into the house until after Thanksgiving. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, your dad busts out the Christmas music, gets the tree out of the attic, and starts decorating. (He always wants to start listening to Christmas music on the way home from your great-grandma’s house, but I make him wait until the next morning.) So we are all decorated already. We usually take the decorations down on January 1st (I wish we could make it to Epiphany, but we have to go back to work, so it just never works out that way), but we were joking today about the possibility of having an Easter tree this year, because we just might not get around to taking it down.

Every year, your dad and I exchange Christmas ornaments. Those are the only presents we exchange, and this year we both kind of forgot to go buy them (I can’t imagine why), so we went together and snuck around the store avoiding each other. Here is what we came up with:

This year's ornaments

I bought your dad an ornament of a little boy in a frog outfit. He is excited about bathrobes and towels for you with little hoods on them. There’s one with a frog hanging in your room. So you’ll be dressed like this soon, if he has his way. Sorry about that.

This year's ornaments

And he got me this one of a girl reading. It’s so cute!

Here’s our tree:

Our tree

We are big on the plastic trees here. It’s just so easy and wonderful. We need to buy a new tree, and we are negotiating the white lights/colored lights question. I prefer white lights, but, contrary to popular belief, I do remember what it was like to be a kid. And the magic of colored lights on the tree. Please don’t ask me for flashing lights, though. I do have to draw the line somewhere.

Our angel comes from Old Salem, and is beautiful in its simplicity.

Our tree

Last year, I wrote about putting myself into the nativity scene, because the birth of Christ is for each of us, individually. I decided to do that again this year. Since I’m in it, obviously you are, too. We go together right now.

Being present at the nativity

Being present at the nativity

Being present at the nativity

We couldn’t think of anything in particular to represent your dad this year, and so he suggested that, from now on, the ornaments we buy should be the representations we put in the nativity. We’re going to try to remember to start that new tradition next year. We’ll get one for you, too.

Your dad put some lights up outside for the Great Pumpkin Party, and then, without my knowledge, he managed to string them up for Christmas. Sneaky. We’ve also got our wreath and Moravian star up outside, and we have stockings that we put up even though we’re probably not going to use them this year. Our Christmas traditions are quiet and family-related: time at your great-grandma’s on Christmas Eve, the Christmas Eve service at church, breakfast and games and lasagna with your Grammy and Uncle Joseph on Christmas Day. Your dad and I stopped exchanging Christmas presents a few years ago, and we haven’t decided how we want to handle the question of presents when it comes to you. We want to do things that help all of us to focus on the birth of Jesus and spending time together as a family rather than having Christmas be an explosion of commercialism. Whether presents end up being part of our celebration or not remains to be seen. I am glad we don’t have to make the decision quite yet.

Whether Christmas includes presents or not, we want it to be a time of wonder and magic for you. We want to take you to see the lights and the candles in the park, to let you hear the music, and to teach you about the hero who left his throne to come and rescue those of us here on earth. It’s doubtful that you’ll be here for the fun this year (though I won’t complain if you are. Please keep that in mind), but you are part of the wonder for us this year. Your dad is happier than I have ever seen him. Merry Christmas, Atticus. Thanks for making our holidays so special already.


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