(Fa la la la la.....) I can't sing, but I can sure decorate a house for the holidays! Back in the day when I had a new house and no furniture and accessories to fill it, I would go crazy with seasonal or holiday decorations. Corn husks and pumpkins, yep! 3 large Christmas trees - no problem! Banisters, curtain rods, grandfather clock - it was all dressed in greenery, baby's breath and bows. I had a girlfriend who came to my home in the middle of December. She was so depressed because my house looked like Santa's Village and she hadn't bothered to do anything. She took the next day off from work, went out and spent a ton of money AND hired someone to put up and decorate her tree. I must have created a monster because for the next several years, her addiction grew to the point where the outside of her home had 200 fully lighted Christmas trees (I kid you not!) and an assortment of moving characters on her lawn. Her electric bill was over $1000 a month! Geesh, some people are just so competitive...!
Fast forward a few decades...(too fast for my taste!)...Limited time and limited energy and a house full of furniture and accessories has curtailed my seasonal decorating, but I still manage to put up enough so the Grinch still thinks this is "Whoville". The trick is to use fewer pieces on a larger scale, incorporate the accessories you have and try not to move all the furniture in the room to accommodate the Christmas tree!
My very favorite tradition of the season is the tree decorating. Every year on the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving, my daughter and I drag the tree out of the attic. While I prefer the look and smell of a real tree, after 20 years of cleaning up pine needles, I'm done! I can put my tree up when I want to, it doesn't need watering, and it looks as good on the last day as it did on the first! And just think of all the trees lives I've saved!
Once the tree is out of the attic, we put in her favorite Christmas DVD - "The Santa Clause" with Tim Allen. The same movie every year. Then the assembly begins - inserting each branch and making sure it is shaped correctly...stringing the lights and getting my arms scratched up from the branches... the strings of lights that work perfectly and then die on you as soon as they are on the tree...oh the memories!! This year, I was spared all that! My wonderful husband helped me pick out a new tree - 3 easy pieces and its pre-lit!! I love my husband!
Then I unwrap each ornament that I have been collecting for the past 30 years. Some purchased on vacations, some received as gifts, some bought to commemorate a special event, others handmade when I had spare time. As my daughter places them on the tree, I fondly remember each one. Its a "Hallmark moment"! (sigh...)
And then reality sets in...Once the tree is finished, so is my daughter. "'Bye Ma, see you later!". I spend the rest of the day running up and down two flights of stairs to the attic for the rest of the decorations. I can't complain - it helps me work off the rest of the leftovers I ate from Thanksgiving!
The chandeliers are now decked in pine boughs and bows, the mantle, with greenery and stockings. The wreath is on the door....candles are lit...centerpieces are placed on tables and I am now thinking about wrapping the gifts! So here is a glimpse of the house in its holiday finery. (Forget the gifts...the stairs wore me out.) Until next time...
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery