Christmas cheer

I have to admit, when it comes to Christmas, I’m kind of a Grinch.

Beyond a potted poinsettia and a few strategically placed red candles, I can’t be bothered to decorate the house. Hauling all the crap up from the basement. Untangling the gnarl of lights. Vacuuming the endless supply of dried-up needles I will find scattered throughout the house until mid June. It just all seems so meh.

And don’t even get me started on the mall. That place is so not filled with yuletide cheer. Screaming children, yeah, as well as a bunch of slow walkers and long lines of cranky women in Christmas sweaters. I prefer my shopping to be of the cyber variety, where I can lounge on the couch in my pajamas, sip peppermint martinis, and find everything I could ever need in one spot:

This Christmas, however, was different. This Christmas I draped every door with a wreath, tied every railing with a red bow, covered every horizontal surface in greenery. I had not one, but two lit-up, glitzed up trees which could barely be seen for all the mall-bought gifts. There were so many twinkling lights on my house, it lit up all of Atlanta.

Why? Some of the people I love most in the world came to my house for Christmas, and I am a classic overachiever. But as it turns out, I didn’t need all the decorations.

Because when my family walked through the door, my heart grew three sizes, all on its own.

About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (, Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at

Posted on December 28, 2012, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You’ve just written about the true meaning of Christmas! Sounds like you had a good one. Happy New Year!

  2. Yep, I totally see what you mean, Kimberle. We never found the time to decorate the outside of our house this year with our reindeer and nutcracker man, but my son didn’t ruin Xmas this year by being a typical creepy teenager and my kids got along well and we didn’t have a bunch of company. It was just our small (4) family and I loved it.

  3. We’re too Dutch to do it the grand American way. Gifts are only for the kids, and not as many or as expensive as their American peers. Sipping hot cocoa pretty much every night in front of the christmas tree (yep, my thighs gave that part of our celebration away already) and playing board games. Ok, and it’s not all classic: and video games ;). For years we’ve been having the same friends over for Christmas Eve (yep American, beause the Dutch are not big on Christmas Eve) and noone is allowed in our house on Christmas except for the four of us. that’s pretty much it. Noone even wantst to travel anywhere either. Just home sweet home.
    I hope you had a great time with all the kiddo’s at home!

    • I hear you, Marian. Enjoy keeping those kids close to home while you can. Kleine kinderen worden (veel te snel) groot.

  4. I’ve been there, too: Projecting expectations on those around me when it’s not necessary at all.

    I bet your house was gorgeous!

    • Yep, Janna, it’s the overachiever in us, I’m afraid. Nice to have those moment, though, when we realize the important things. Hope your holidays were fabulous!

  5. You just described my perfect Christmas, Kimberle. A house filled with family. 🙂 have a happy new year!

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