Its been nearly 20 years ago that I added Christmas decorating instillations to my repertoire. In that time I have been invited into many, many homes & corporate settings to decorate for the holidays. Over the years, families come and go, but a few are loyal, long term clients. I’ve become somewhat of a tradition in many families, and that makes me smile, and even cry a little.
Its an honor to be in someone’s home, to see how they do life, be a small part of it, and somehow enhance their Christmas memories. I get to watch their children, grow, marry & have children of their own. Quite frankly, it makes me feel OLD. It also makes me realize that my job is a lovely way to grow old. I am very very blessed to get to do what I do. These clients enrich my life, and I can hope I have enriched their as well.
One particular guy has stolen my heart. If you have gotten to see one of my holiday design shows, you may remember my story about The Gold Babies…..
Meet my friend Reed.
When I began decorating for his parents, he was a wee little tot. He was barely out of diapers, if my memory serves me correctly. This little guy was excited to have some company. Not only that, but also the stacks of totes, full of Christmas treasures, all over the living room was simply too much for his little curious heart to resist. He HAD to be right in the middle of it, much to his mothers dismay. I assured mom that I could work around him, and she did her best to lure him away with other activities. Reed always wondered back to “Miss Jodi” & all the decorations. I asked mom to leave him be, assured her I could work around her little elf, and I began to assign little tasks for him. The unbreakable ornaments would be safe for him, so I made up a sorting task for him….. “Put the big ones in one pile, put the little ones in a different pile” or “Put the red ones in this pile” “line up all the gold balls” and so on and so forth. He took his job quite seriously, so I just had him move things from pile to pile, and he was very proud of his work. I was able to decorate and he felt like he was helping, so it was a brilliant collaboration. Until that one fateful tote of….GOLD BABIES.
Little Reed had finished his last sorting task and moved on to the next tote. I had my back to him & I was up on the ladder. Below, I heard the lid lift off, and then, a BIG exasperated sigh. A sigh far too big to be uttered by this tiny guy. As I turned around, I said “What’s wrong, buddy?” and he said “Gold. Babies…….I do not LIKE the Gold Babies.” And with that, he slammed the lid shut and marched off. How could I be so stupid as to think that Gold Babies were anything but hideous?
I nearly fell down laughing. It was hilarious to me (maybe you just had to be there?) but I giggled myself silly. And everytime I see Gold Babies I think of my little friend Reed, and I quote him….”Gold Babies…..I do not LIKE the Gold Babies”
This is one of the reasons I love putting up Christmas for people. Simple moments & goofy shenanigans like this bring me tremendous joy. Someday I am going to write a book about all my Christmas decorating adventures. There will be a chapter called “GOLD BABIES–I do not LIKE the Gold Babies”
P.S. For the record, I don’t have anything against Gold Babies. I think Reed has come to terms with them as well.