The Saddest House on the Street

A simple gingerbread house by my daughter.

To be honest we’ve been traveling a lot and that mixed with our plans not to be home for Christmas had me feeling pretty good about not decorating the house for Christmas this year…

That was until the other night when we were driving home and my daughter was looking and commenting on all the holiday decorations on homes and in yards. She apparently took a brief survey of our own neighborhood and declared, “We have the saddest house on the street.” Her small little voice adding “Everyone else has decorated for Christmas except for us.”

Now this house means Christmas spirit. We had to stop to take some photos. The Grinch was there somewhere and a Christmas wiener dog sighting.

Dang it! How many days until Christmas?

I was close… super close to making it to our flight out of town and to a destination that would be decked to the halls of St. Nick and now, now, with only weeks to go before the big guy crams himself down chimneys around the world I was caught as the Grinch… and we had the saddest house on the street.

Bah humbug.

Really, I always decorate and pride myself on the perfect Christmas scene; not too much and not to little and yet this year I just wanted to be lazy and save myself the post-Christmas take down in the below 0, it’s something too-cold-degree, northern midwestern winter weather.

But… alas, I cannot look into the eyes of my own little Cindy Lou Who as they look at me to say “Why, no Christmas Mom?”

Currently, all the Christmas items are in storage crates packed up and moved out to a storage facility by the men I call “the cleaners” which are moving company packers who can make a home look as though no one had ever lived there… all in records time.

So, now… my Christmas decorations are joyfully decorating the inside of the crates which contain all the falalalalaing and jingle-belling and for which I have no access to until I have the crates delivered sometime next year.

I took a deep breath knowing I was going to need to purchase items I already owned to add the the ever growing collection of Christmas decorations. I grabbed a pen to make a short list; a very short list.

Just some of the Christmas decoration collection currently decorating the storage crates.

Of course shopping with the Queen of Christmas meant everything we passed by came with “oohs” and “aahs” and “we totally need this” as she held up a Christmas Dachshund in delight. When did wiener dogs join the ranks of Christmas dogs? I’m still thinking Scottish Terriers in plaid jackets rule the Christmas dog group.

Nope. I didn’t need a holiday wiener dog. And, after much debating, begging and crying on my part she let me out of the store with a few well-chosen items to make the front of our home festive.

Kid, you’ll move mountains.” -Dr. Seuss

While the kids were in school I decorated outside with lights, garland, a little Christmas light topiary thing placed next to the door, a wreath and a few other little items so that I didn’t stink, stank or stunk myself into the hall of Grinchhood with the saddest house on the street.

When my daughter came home I had redeemed myself as the house is now with some holiday spirit. She squealed in delight and told me how beautiful everything looked.

An afternoon holiday snack and toast to the season of joy.

My son said the moral of this story is that you should always decorate your home for the holidays or else you too might have a little Cindy Lou Who wondering why she must live in the saddest house in the street.

The real lesson may be more of what Dr. Seuss shared:

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get the chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

The holiday season is here and I will remind myself that it was totally worth it when I’m taking down the decorations on a warm January day; it might even get up to two degrees. Who knows? He didn’t say it would be easy.

House Beautiful has 50 inspiring outdoor ideas to make your home more festive this holiday season.

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