Monday, December 19, 2016

A Different Way of Decorating

by Carol

Deanna spoke the other week about needing to simplify her decorations for Christmas. In the end, she concluded that her decorative traditions gave her comfort and continuity. I agree whole-heartedly, to some extent (if that isn't a blatant contradiction) but I have been successfully pairing down the Christmas show these past few years. I have to qualify that by saying that I haven't actually given anything away yet (pack-rat that I am) but I am conducting a sort of trial run. 

In years past my Christmas Villages were of primary importance, which meant clearing my bookcase shelves and bay window, collecting Dicken's houses each year, buying angel hair snow, etc etc. I had two different sets that I wanted to build on to leave to my children someday. In addition, every room and each bookshelf had a display - from a Christmas tree forest, to a santa collection. This plus the piles of presents that go with young kids toys, the tree of course, the lights and loaded frig.....

But now with adult children, the gifts have become simpler, the food traditional but less excessive (I mean how many Christmas cookies can the three of us eat in a three day weekend?) Somewhere about two years ago or so I looked around at my little 100 year old house, with its cozy rooms and Christmas tree squeezed in a corner and after all my careful work, it just looked to me like a mess.

So last year I put some simple greens in my Bennington Pottery, decorated my tree with only my favorite and most meaningful ornaments, stacked my childhood Christmas books on my coffee table, and made a table centerpiece from nature finds I had gathered. I hung bird feeders outside the kitchen window. I tucked a few little village houses under the tree in leu of piles of presents, and made a make-ahead egg casserole and banana bread for breakfast, so that I could spend time with my children. I think we stayed in our PJs until about 11:00. We played Scrabble in the afternoon. The Christmas tree forest became one little tree on each bureau upstairs, and the colonial candles went into the little colonial windows of my little old house.

And, if I do say so myself, it was perfect.

Have yourselves a merry little Christmas everyone!


heyjudephotography said...

Same here Carol. I have significantly reduced my decorations, but my favorites are out, and the magic of battery operated twinkly lights have transformed my decorating! Without having to remove my usual items and find a place for them, I've placed twinkly lights here and there and it looks festive, is easy and beautiful. Merry Christmas Carol!

terriporter said...

Yes, yes, yes! Nodding right along while reading this. I've been trying to do this for a few years now but have only been moderately successful. But this year, I did it! Like you said, I didn't toss anything out, just left the things in boxes in the basement that I didn't absolutely love. Everything looks so much more simple and beautiful and I love it this way! Hope your Christmas is peaceful, joyful and perfect!

Dotti said...

Another voice in the choir! Each year for the past several, I've pared down a bit. This year, I put out only my favorites. And I have to say, it's so refreshing! I don't like clutter anyhow and too often my house at Christmas time felt cluttered probably adding to stress. This year it's been soothing and, since I have been on a two week hiatus from driving (until Thursday), having my tree and my favorites - well, to be honest, I haven't missed being not being able to get out in the hustle and bustle. I do think as we reach a certain age, we begin to embrace the "less is more" philosophy. I know I have!

Carol said...

I guess I am "preaching to the choir!" Glad you are all enjoying the simple life right along with me. Maybe I will toss some of it and let someone else enjoy it!

Cathy H. said...

I love all your unique ornaments! I'm still a full blown decorator. I enjoy the "job" of decorating and creating a cozy Christmas look. I decorated four trees this year, one large and three small. I love walking into the bathroom and seeing the small tree with shells, starfish, and sand dollars as ornaments. I love the little Victorian tree I've created for the extra bedroom. I love my snowman tree and I love my big tree, full and I mean full, of treasured ornaments. Maybe someday I'll be ready to pare down, but not just yet!

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