The Making of Christmas

by Bella Rum


I’m losing track of days. They’re flying by. We’ve been busy, busy, busy. This weekend we knocked out the decorating. I thought we were practically done. I can hang a wreath on the door, the stockings on the mantel, decorate the tree and call it done, but H was in the spirit, and he wanted to do more and then some more. Who can resist someone who’s in the mood?

Boxes everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, open, spilling over on the floor, stacked, uncontained, ribbons, Santas, candles, bright papers and faux sprigs of pine and berries, enough to smear Christmas from sea to shining sea. I was in the middle of making a wreath, because H had dragged me into the spirit, and that’s when the text came. H’s cousin texted to say she was in town, and would like to drop off the cake container that I’d left at her house… and to see our house… for the first time.


H said about the mess, “She won’t care.” “No, but I will.” So there we are. That’s me. I’d like for my house to look nice and somewhat clean when someone sees it for the first time and is going in every room… and even peeking in a closet… maybe… cringe. And I’d like for there to be no bras hanging in the laundry room because I don’t put my bras in the dryer (they last longer).

My mother called it, “putting on the dog.” Getting all spruced up when someone is coming to visit. At least the first time they visit. You grill steak instead of hotdogs. You wear your blouse without the stains. You vacuum the dog hairs off the couch. Well, I did the best I could to make things presentable, at least not hazardous, and I made some tuna fish salad for sandwiches and pulled a container of homemade vegetable beef soup out of the freezer, and we all had a good time. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, even if it kills you. 🙂 


Do my photos appear too large?

As for the decorations, it’s all pretty now. Most of the boxes are hidden in closets, and the rest will soon join them. H is so excited for Lilou to see Dickens’ Village. He just knows it will be the memory she keeps till she’s 85, the thing she’ll tell her kids and grandkids about. When you boil it down to a nub, that’s what it’s about.

H wrapped garlands with lights around the railings on the front steps and around the lamppost. The man cannot stop. He loves it. The wreath is on the door, the tree is up, Dickens’ Village is alive and well once again, the Porch Pup guards the front door, the stockings are hung, and the mantel is cuter than ever with a couple of stuffed mice wearing dresses – one with earmuffs and one with a whimsical hat. Another Christmas has been made. It’s only waiting for kids to arrive and make it real.


Bella does not like to be caught with her pants down.