While I love being in my own home with my own little family about 99.9% of the time, I do miss living with my parents every once in a while.  Christmas is definitely one of those times.  TTO and I have started our own traditions and they become more special with each passing year, but when you grow up with the Queen of Christmas it’s hard to feel like you’re adequately celebrating the season. 

That’s right.  My mom is an unofficial Queen of Christmas.  Here is a brief list of her credentials: 

  • Seven (7) trees – my favorites are the 11ft tree with all of our family ornaments and the white tree with purple decorations in my old bedroom
  • Hundreds of ornaments 
  • Massive amounts of pine garland wrapping everything that will stand still
  • Roughly 30 Santas ranging from a few inches tall to over 3 feet tall
  • A table specifically built (by my dad who pretends to be a Scrooge just to offset my mom’s overabundance of Christmas cheer) for a Christmas village with about 20 houses and all of the accessories you can imagine. 
  • A nutcracker collection that would make any good German jealous
  • Carefully chosen decorations for each room, including the bathrooms and garage

This may sound like overkill, but my mom is a pro.  She makes it all look fabulous and tasteful.  I am very sad that I didn’t inherit her holiday decorating gene.  I try, but it never quite comes out, even though most of my decorations are hand-me-downs from the queen. 

Each year Hometown asks for a few families to open their festively decorated homes to the masses as a fundraiser for the annual senior class all night party.  For about $7 on a Saturday in December you can snoop through people’s homes gawking at their holiday decor and spend the drive to the next house disecting what you did and didn’t like.  Highlights from past tours included a home that had NO decorations save for the floral arrangement donated by the tour committee (huh?), a family that painted all of their rooms red or green for the big day and a house that prominently featured semi-nude drawings of the homeowner’s wife in the master bathroom (they thought they were “arty” I suppose).

Obviously my mom was a prime candidate for the tour.  For years she considered it, but felt our house was too small.  Then in the summer of 2004 my parents put on a large addition and my mom was ready to rock and roll.  Finally, last Christmas, she had the opportunity to show off her talents.  She started pulling everything together just after Halloween.

By Thanksgiving their house could have been on a magazine cover, but my poor mom was burned out.  I had never seen her so stressed.  We did our best to reassure her that everything was perfect, but true to the women in our family she just wouldn’t hear it.  Things were tweaked and fussed over right up to the last minute.  She shouldn’t have worried.  The day of the tour was fantastic, people came back more than once just because they had heard from someone about a room they’d missed or they just wanted to feel more of the Christmas spirit that was practically oozing out of the place.  I was so proud.

Unfortunately when you start looking at Christmas decorations while most people are still munching on Halloween candy you are a little bit sick of them long before New Year’s.  Even with her deep and abiding love for all things holiday, Mamacita was no different.  The decorations were packed up and put away before the ball dropped in Times Square.  She vowed that she was going to scale down her efforts this year and according to her standards she probably did, but to the rest of us?  It’s still Christmas Town, USA.

The holiday home tour was canceled this year.  They say it was due to lack of interest, but I firmly believe it’s because they all saw how awesome my mom is and knew they couldn’t compete.