Holiday Décor Is A Backdrop To Your Child’s Memories

Some of the earliest and best memories I can recall, were of my mom and the holidays. Whether it was Christmas, or Easter, or a birthday, they all stand out in my mind because my mom went the extra mile to make sure that those holidays were special for us. And it wasn’t just the ones I listed—it was ALL OF THEM. In addition, she didn’t just “make them special” by buying us exactly what we asked for for Christmas, or putting extra candy in our baskets, she did it by making each individual holiday season festive. Looking back, she did it through décor.

Now, I know many of you may think, “Really? Décor?” Children don’t care what the house looks like around the holidays—they just want presents!”  And while this is partially true, I have two real life examples of how décor plays an important part in making those memories great.

So we’ll start with me. Growing up, we weren’t wealthy. I was the youngest of 3, and my parents split when I was 4 years old. My father didn’t pay child support—and when he did it wasn’t much. No matter, though. Because around each holiday that approached my mom gave us all a better gift—those memories of which I am speaking. When a new holiday approached, she would bring out her tattered holiday boxes from the basement. (I swear she had a box for every holiday.)  She’d get my brothers and I together (they were usually bribed with a special bedtime snack) and we’d go through the boxes. Now, keep in mind that we didn’t move much, and the decorations didn’t change much from year to year. It didn’t matter. We would all bicker about which window clings went where, or who got to put up the lights on the banister, or if the scarecrow was going on the front door or the back, and so on.  Then she’d tuck us in exhausted and we’d wake up the next morning to be proudly surrounded by decorations for the upcoming holiday. We bonded that way every season.

Now, to my own daughter. She’s recently just turned 17 months old, so she’s obviously a bit young to help me decorate. And since she can’t talk yet, she isn’t able to tell me what she likes or doesn’t. It became quickly apparent though, that I didn’t need words to figure it out. For Halloween this year, I put up pumpkin lights around the window in our kitchen. Every morning when we’d have breakfast, I’d plug them in. It didn’t take long before she figured out what I was doing and would try to plug them in when she came home from daycare. I caught her twice trying to pull the plug protectors off, so she could plug in the lights herself. That was the first sign. The week before Halloween was the clincher though. We were rushed one morning, so I put her in her high chair to eat while I ran around getting ready. When I first put her in the chair she pointed towards the window and whined. I didn’t catch on at first, brushed it off, and set her breakfast in front of her. She threw part of her breakfast onto the floor and pointed once again to the window. Talk about a drama queen! It was then it dawned on me—she likes the lights! Sure enough, after I plugged them in, she smiled and began eating like the little angel she usually is.

If you think about it, the décor in your home is often the backdrop for your memories, whether they are good or bad. So no matter how juvenile my decorating skills may be, they make a difference.  I want my child to have the same warm holiday memories that I had growing up. And I’m going to give those to her one decoration at a time.

Heather Mitchell is a featured writer for the site, where you can find everything from decorative mirrors for your walls to vanity mirrors for your bathroom!
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