My mother has gathered a plethora of Christmas decorations and ornaments over the years. She still has the snowman ornament that my older bother fashioned out of foam balls and pipe cleaners from kindergarten and a faux, table top Christmas tree, which is stuffed into a red Santa boot.
We tease her about her decorations, and she doesn't even wince. She takes criticism well while reinforcing the fact that she loves all of her decorations.
Often times we will visit her and discover something new accessorizing her home or garden. The other day, I noticed that she had stuck a large, gold painted goose in her flower bed whose neck was tied with a satin white bow.
What does a golden goose have to do with Christmas? One may never know. It may be that the bird was arbitrarily left out of the Christmas story. Perhaps the wise men brought golden goose, Frankincense and Myrrh?
She still displays the nativity scene left over from our childhood, however no longer places the animals, shepherd, and wise men, on "angel's hair." This product was eventually banned since it was made from spun glass and children would cut themselves. Imagine that.
My favorite Christmas decoration at her house is the singing snowman sitting at a piano. When you push the right button, he sways to the music he is "playing" on the keyboard. It is really fun when one of the four children pushes the button continuously. I typically start off singing the song and smiling, and then shout the song while in between breaths yelling, "stop pushing the button!" The joy rapidly disintegrates.
One day I hope to have one of those homes that is perfectly decorated with matching boughs of real garland and red bows, and the 8 foot tall tree with golden, glass balls, ribbons, and hundreds of white lights. For now I still have young children who think that the Christmas tree ornaments are toys, and the stuffed sock snowman makes for a great football.
Thankfully we can still visit my mother's house with her Santa boot tree and golden goose. While not many things match, and the decorations rarely mimic a department store window, it feels homey, warm, and filled with love - which is perfect.