I finished my last decorating job of the Christmas season today. It was three straight hours of a mad dash from one room to another trying to accomplish everything as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The client wasn't home, so I turned up the A Star Is Born soundtrack on my phone and decorated that house until every last bit of it was finished.
My client is de-cluttering this year and is working at boxing up donations. Last week, we worked side by side, and she was able to create a large donation box of Christmas decorations. She was overwhelmed, so I told to her just stand on the opposite side of the table. I would unwrap everything and hand her each piece, and she would decide to keep or donate the item. It worked very well, and she was pleased with our progress.
Decorating happened quite late for this client this year. Normally, I have everything pulled down from her attic right as December 1st rolls around. This year she and I were focused on so many other projects we never got to it. I got her Christmas lights out in front of her house just last week.
Because I worked alone today, I enjoyed the space that I had and the fact that I could spread out, make a mess and manage my own time so that everything was cleaned up by noon when I needed to leave. She told me she would be home by 11:30 a.m., and I always anticipate her return when I am decorating. I love the look of relief and happiness on her face when she returns and her home completely decorated for Christmas.
I stayed right until noon and then raced about 6 blocks away to her friends house as I told her I could only help her until 1 p.m. So much to do today, I had to make sure I kept an eye on the clock. No less than 10 minutes after I arrived at my second client's home, her home phone rang. It was the first client requesting a moment to speak to me. She oohed and aahed about how beautiful her home was and how happy she was to come home and have it all done. She was so very pleased and now felt that she was ready for Christmas.
She went on to explain that she loved the placement of the angels and the decor which I carefully placed on the book shelves in the corner. And the fact that I dusted the huge picture window sill in case she was ready to put up any pieces of her Christmas village. She said it was like I was in her head and knew what she was thinking. She has a large village and had mentioned she would probably also like to get rid of few pieces of it, so I didn't put it up, but left that one last project for her to address. I have worked for her for approx 13+ years, so I absolutely know what she likes and doesn't like when it comes to decorating her home for Christmas.
She then went on to tell me about her joy at seeing the Nativity on her beautiful desk in front room of her house. Gorgeous. Probably my favorite piece of hers. She said the fact that it was so simply placed, without any additional embellishments was exactly what she wanted. She went on to explain that when she first saw it she paused and tears pricked the corners of her eyes. She had been running and racing and not savoring this Christmas season. Remembering the birth of Savior was the only thing that mattered, and the first sight of of her treasured Nativity enabled her to refocus and set herself back on the right course this Christmas.
I now will not go back to work until after the New Year. I still have a lot to do for Christmas, but mostly wrapping presents and cleaning my home to host for Christmas Day. But I will pause myself tonight and study my Nativity on my mantle above the fireplace in the Great Room. I am eternally thankful for the birth of baby who grew up to be a man, who died for our sins and and will return again. Because that is only thing I wish to celebrate this Christmas.