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  • Fake And Sparkly – Still Not A Bad Thing

    December 20, 2009

    This post is from last December.  It is still applicable.

    * * *

    One day last week, Sean and I spent the afternoon putting up Christmas decorations.  I used to really enjoy decking the halls, but I have come to a point in life where it seems to be more work than fun.

    As I root through box after box of stuff, I wonder if hanging fake glittery stuff on a fake tree only to be removed and boxed up again in 30 days is a good use of my time and energy, both of which seem to be in short supply these days.  Sparkle and glitter and garland is not really what the season is about after all.

    But then I look at my little five-year-old boyfriend who is totally into Christmas and the decorating and how he is thrilled with each ornament, even the cruddy ones. I realize then that it’s worth it because one day too soon he will be too busy or too cool to spend an afternoon decorating for Christmas with his mama.  And oh how I will rue the day.

    That thought however did not stop me from lying down on the living room floor in an attempt to stave off that spinning sensation of being overwhelmed that often comes with the holidays but this year seems to be magnified in light of the economy and world and personal events.

    As I lay there on the floor trying to create some order in my mind so that I might create some order in my life, Sean wanders over and straddles me with his hands on his hips.  I feel like the worker who has been caught napping in the janitor’s closet.  He  plops down on my tummy.  He leans over and looks me square in the face.  He searches my face with a furrowed brow, lips pursed in concern.  I’m afraid that he knows, that I’ve not done a good job of keeping my adult worries and cynicism to myself.

    “Mom?” he asks as he leans over me.

    “Yes?” I say, bracing myself.

    “Did you know that you have farkles on your face?”

    He draws his face closely into mine and like a surgeon,  he ever so delicately plucks a dot of glitter from my cheek.

    “See?” he says, holding his be-glittered finger one inch from my eyeball, “Farkles!”

    He jumps up, ready to keep going.

    “C’mon mom, let’s keep decorating!” he cries with glee as he tugs on my arm.

    This boy, he is good medicine for a bad attitude.

    I decide that for him, that I would do a better job of at least pretending to find joy in the fake and sparkly, that I would be careful not spoil these few precious years in his life when the world is small and uncomplicated and magical.

    So for now, for the boy, my attitude shall be like my tree — fake and sparkly.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


    1. Cyndi says:

      Thank you for the reminder – hope your year is more sparkle and less fake this time around!

      December 20th, 2009 at 11:39 am

    2. mythoughtsonthat says:

      I am SO not a Christmas person, but my boy? He SO is! I need to remember to act “as if” and let him be the Christmas person that he is. The years with him growing up will go fast and I’ll be decorating that tree alone in the blink of an eye. Enjoy it while I can! Peace.

      December 20th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    3. Nan says:

      Farkles! I forgot about this one, thanks for re-posting!

      December 20th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    4. jean says:

      We decorated the tree yesterday. Now that he is taller then me he gets to do the top of the tree. I didn’t want a tree this year but because it means so much to him, we got one. Now that it’s up, I’m so happy we have it.

      December 20th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    5. Linda says:

      Enjoy this time when they still love to decorate the tree and Christmas is still so wondrous to them. My boys are grown and told me not worry with a tree. So I purchased a small living table top tree and decorated it with mini ornaments.

      I miss the time of excitement with my kids.

      December 20th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    6. Debbie Owensby Moore says:

      Thanks for the needed reminder. Although I love the decorations, the coordination of the process, like you, seems like more work each year. But with a tween, it is still very necessary.

      December 20th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    7. Laura J. says:

      I’m at that place where it seems like such a chore, but once it’s done, I’m so glad I did it. Kind of like exercise, no? LOL!

      December 20th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    8. Roxanne says:

      Fake and Sparkly is sometimes much better than Real and Gloomy. 🙂 Love this post. . .I am needing to be Fake and Sparkly this year. . .but I’m trying.

      December 20th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    9. Heidi says:

      Another wonderfully sweet story from you.

      I’m at the stage where I decorate the tree alone. The only consolation is that my husband puts it all away in January.

      December 20th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    10. Kathy Vaughan says:

      Freckles and sparkles – farkles! Love it!

      It’s not just for “these few precious years” that you are decorating for your boy. It is for the future, when he is older and gone, and he can look back on wonderful memories of boyhood Christmases with his farkly mom. Makin’ memories, mama! Enjoy!

      December 21st, 2009 at 12:42 am

    11. momof8 says:

      Farkles! I love it. I hope you have farkles this year too!

      December 21st, 2009 at 1:01 am

    12. Kay says:

      Love this! And so true. This year the daughter decorated the tree by herself. We praised her and she felt great about it. Really, I just didn’t want to do it. But we all had fun; she just did some of the work. Had a strange realization a couple of Christmases ago… the way some of us feel now is how our parents felt when we were growing up. Their parents possibly gone. Family dynamics changed… the not altogether ‘happy holiday’ thing. All the while making the memories for us that we sometimes see as the best times of our young lives looking back. I guess our parents knew how to be fake and sparkly too… even before AM made it cool! 🙂

      December 21st, 2009 at 10:24 am

    13. Bill McNutt says:

      I hope it’s more sparkles than farkles (fake sparkles)for you this time of year. My Chosen Niece is heavily into decorating (she’s two) but my wife and I haven’t gotten a tree, yet.


      December 21st, 2009 at 11:08 am

    14. Hillary @ The Other Mama says:

      Love it! Our tree is farkley, too, and we are enjoying it!

      December 21st, 2009 at 11:26 am

    15. Tom says:

      “Farkles” is our new favorite word.

      December 21st, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    16. NB says:

      This one….today it makes my nose tingle. I really hope I’m doing a good job with the fake and sparkly. And I hope I’m doing a good job communicating the real reason for Christmas. I hope my kids are getting it. Because they can tell me if asked why we have Christmas. I just have a hard time with not feeling it right now and I wonder what is coming across.

      December 21st, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    17. Lysa TerKeurst says:

      Thank you friend. I love “farkly” and I too think it’s not a bad thing at all.

      Merry Christmas!

      December 22nd, 2009 at 9:27 am

    18. deb says:

      My parents didn’t believe in Christmas trees, or much by way of decorating because they wanted to focus on the real meaning of Christmas…which they did very well. However, all 5 of us kids/spouses/families incorporated a tree & decorations into our own celebrations when we reached adulthood, without abandoning the true meaning. There’s just something to be said for farkles; thanks for putting it into words.

      Wishing you & your family a truly merry & meaningful Christmas season…

      December 22nd, 2009 at 11:09 am

    19. Antonia says:

      I am weeping as I read this and the comments, because after 8 children and many years of loving all the “chore of Christmas” now, suddenly it’s gone, and it is a chore to put up the decorations without the love and pleasure of little or big kiddos. This is such a precious post, so much truth in it, I loved it. Enjoy, enjoy, because nothing lasts and memory in the end is wonderful!! Antonia

      January 3rd, 2010 at 1:52 am

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