Ever since I’ve known my husband he has collected Hallmark Christmas decorations – not just any Hallmark Christmas decorations – guy Hallmark Christmas decorations. Emmitt Smith, Ken Grifie Junior, Troy Aikman, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Captain Jack Sparrow, GI Joe in space and GI Joe solider – he’s got them all. My husband is a
hoarder –I mean collector and for years all of his collectible Hallmark Christmas decorations were neatly packed away in a bin hidden in the garage. No one was allowed to touch them never mind decorate a tree with his prized collection. “The kids will break my decorations” he said. I don’t think he’s ever read Erma Bombeck’s list of regrets after she found out she was dying of cancer. All of my decorations go up every year and no one seems to care if they get messed up or broken and that’s ok because I don’t care – beautiful things are meant to be enjoyed and shared. Not sure if I can call his taste in Christmas decorations beautiful but nevertheless, his decorations are beautiful to him – beautiful enough to hide in a garage away from the kids for the last fourteen years. Every year I put up two trees -the tree in the living room is decorated with all of the Christmas decorations that my friends and family have given me over the years (my traditional tree) and then the other tree in the family room is decorated with a blue and silver theme. After I put up the two trees and wrapped the trees in lights and garland, my husband walks in with his box of his precious collection and ask me “what tree he can hang his decorations on?” After fourteen years of his decorations in a box, I’m thinking they can stay in the garage – but the Christmas Spirit in me gave him the tree in the family room that is usually a beautiful blue and silver theme. He happily goes over to his tree and starts to hang his Hallmark decorations while the boys and I decorate the living room tree. After fourteen years of knowing about their father’s almighty collection, they couldn’t stand to be in the living room with me while the “sport tree” was being decorated in the other room. Competition, let me tell you, between the traditional family/friend tree and the sport tree – you guessed it, the sport tree won. Both boys left me to decorate the big tree and they made their way to the family room to join their father and decorate the sport tree. If you double click on the collage you will get a close up view of the two trees – my tree has a star on top and his tree has – yep that’s right – a football helmet! As I always say – beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…Below Erma Bombeck’s list of regrets – I’m posting this for my husband – I have Erma’s poem posted in my office at work to remind myself everyday how precious life is..
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER – by Erma Bombeck (written after she found out she was dying from cancer).
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, ‘Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.’ There would have been more ‘I love you’s’ More ‘I’m sorry’s.’
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it .. live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!
Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.