The Magic of a Snow Village

Christmas is Mom’s favorite time of year. She has always loved Christmas, loved decorating for it, loved everything about it. Unfortunately, Christmas decorating also makes Christmas a very labor intensive holiday and with a Mom who has MS that can be challenging.

Sister K was home with Mom and Dad the week before and week of Thanksgiving. She stayed with Mom one week while Dad was out of town and the other week Dad had knee surgery for his torn meniscus. While she was home she basically did all the Christmas decorating for Mom. She set up the tree, put up the stockings, displayed Christmas pictures on the wall, the list goes on. One thing she did this year that we haven’t done in awhile is set up the pieces of Mom’s snow village.

Some people can really go all out with a snow village. I have always dreamed of being one of those people someday. But while Mom has her pieces, we don’t traditionally set them up every year. It is a hassle and can be kind of a pain when you get down to it. But this year Sister K got them all out of the box and had them sitting out on the dining room table ready to be placed and assembled. So Sunday evening before she and Husband headed back, Sister K and I worked on the snow village. The pieces included “The Flamingo Hotel”, “Dick Clark’s Band Stand studio”, “Santa’s work shop”, a school, a toy shop, a house and restaurant. We had people, trees, bridges, walkways and signs. We created our own little world on the dining room table. But more importantly, I felt like this was a very special way for us to brighten up the holidays for Mom.

Mom walks slow and to get from her bedroom to the kitchen she pretty much walks through the dining room everyday. The snow village gives her a fun decoration to look at while she walks through in what is sometimes a tough process for her. It gives her a reminder of her daughters who set it all up. It also puts a different spin on Christmas in another room of the house.

As I sat there and looked at the snow village all lit up Sunday evening (praying Sister K and I didn’t start a fire with all the things we have plugged into two surge protectors), I just felt overwhelmed with happiness and love. As you stare at a snow village your imagination can take over. Looking at the places and the people. Imagining what life would be like there. I was happy we had this world of happiness and perfection to give us a moment to forget about any issues within our family- a moment to just reflect and feel the love of each other, the love of an imaginary community and the love of the holidays.

Did you put up your holiday decorations over Thanksgiving? Do you have a snow village inside of your own house? Do you believe in the power of imagining and reflecting on something imaginary to change your mood or help you to appreciate the wonderful things in your life?

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Thankful for Feeling Sad

I stayed up very late last night making cake balls to take to Husband’s family’s Thanksgiving. So I am tired today and my head is not working properly. I can make the cake balls portion but it is the bark melted covering on the outside where I have issues making them look presentable and not a disaster.

Then Sister K called since she is home and we all used “Face Time” on the iPhone to late night chat. So one thing led to another and it was midnight before I went to sleep.

Being married is tough for me around the holidays because we have to split time between my family and Husband’s family. So far we have just been alternating Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine, then switch the next year and so on….so this year it’s Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. But it doesn’t change this tiny feeling inside of me as I head off to celebrate a holiday without my family- I miss them. To put it even more simply- I miss my Mom. Mom has always had a way of making the holidays special. They have always been low-key occasions but special at the same time. A very come one, come all..you are not a guest in our home, you are automatic family. It’s hard to imagine everyone eating Thanksgiving without me. Sitting around our kitchen table in that green ivy filled kitchen. Getting recipes together, making drinks, snacking on appetizers, all of it.

I know these are simple memories. Our holidays have changed some in part because of Mom’s MS. We don’t make all of the food anymore but order some of it from a local restaurant. We have done this to make things easier…to make things less stressful on Mom and that is fine by us. We are easy to please. But the point though is even in its imperfect state, the holidays at home with my family are perfect to me. And today I have a tiny twinge of sadness that I am trying to mask with a smile on my face. But I am thankful for that sadness. Thankful I love my family enough to miss them at the holidays and thankful for the blessing of them this Thanksgiving.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? How do you divide your time between families? Do you do all your own cooking or buy anything pre-made? So thankful for my readers! Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!