Christmas finally showed up to our house this past Saturday in terms of decorations. In terms of holiday-like weather for Virginia, spring seems to be making a repeat performance. Seriously, the windows were open wide and I was ‘glistening’ as southern ladies do while I hung stockings, trimmed the tree and quoted all the lines to “It’s a Wonderful Life” as it looped in the background. Two times through the movie which will always be one of my favorites and our living room is shined up and glittering with Christmas Spirit.
I am never the early bird when it comes to decking the halls… in fact I have been known in years gone by to be fiddling around finally pulling out a tree at the eleventh hour. One year Christmas Eve came and all I could muster were three miniature trees on the coffee table with some random ribbon and floral berry picks thrown in for good measure. Since moving to this house I’ve been slightly more festive going as far to string lighted garlands around the windows and even having two trees one year! Even if I still only find my decorating groove well after the first of December I like to think I have progressed maybe just a little.
However grand (0r not grand) I’ve gone in years past the one thing that kept nagging at my mind this year was the word simple. I have an undying need for simplicity at this time of the year- maybe even more so at this time of my life? My best girl sent me a quote a few weeks ago which simply said this, “Being an adult is the dumbest thing I ever did.” And I laughed and nodded my head and showed the husband and laughed some more.
But it made me think, it’s not that I want to abandon all my adult responsibilities in favor of being in elementary school or even high school again- goodness knows I just finished finally growing out of those awkward teenage years around my 32nd birthday – it’s just that as adults we get so caught up in the rush and the race that we tend to lose the simplicity that kids embody so well. That’s the kind of simple I crave.
So I puttered along poking through the boxes and formulating my plan. Because I live in a house of menfolk– seriously not even a female animal resides with us anymore unless you count the outdoor cats– they are just as happy to leave the decorating up to me and it’s become my happy place stringing lights and fluffing branches.
And in the spirit of keeping the Christmas decorating simple this year I made a few notes that might help you deck your halls:
Sort- After pulling all the boxes down from the attic I sorted through and put like with like. All the reindeer went in one pile, Santa stuff off to the side and the nutcracker regiment already made up a whole tub by themselves. This was an easy way to see what I had.
Inspiration- Sometimes by this point in the season I’ve seen something that I want to incorporate into my decor for the year on Pinterest or in a store display. Other times I just look at what I purchased on clearance, tucked away and forgot about from the last year and let it drive what I do this year. For my mom she has the same things she puts out year after year and that tradition is part of the fun of decorating her house. There is no right or wrong I promise. I’m just partial to a theme. This year is all about red and white.
Make Room- This is where the magic happens. Truth be told I never practiced this concept until this year but it made all the difference. Clear off your surfaces, temporarily pack up your everyday vignettes and take the art off the walls if you’re so moved. (I was not that moved but some people are..!) The goal is to start with a clean slate.
Place Items– At this point everything starts to come together and because you took the extra minutes to sort things and clear off your spaces you’re able to effortlessly arrange and your groups will almost tell you where they want to go. In my house the reindeer took over the tv area, Santas adorned the top of the secretary, nutcrackers stood guard around the tree and one of the nativities fell into place on top of the old radio.
Leave Out- Because this should be simple I’m giving you permission to leave something out. There is no rule that says you have to put up every nutcracker, string garlands around every window or hang every ornament on the tree. This year I left all the garlands in the box and I only pulled out the favorite nutcrackers. If it starts to make you feel a little crazy try taking away one thing.
Enjoy- Put away the boxes of extras, grab that fuzzy blanket and family member and snuggle under the glow. If that glow comes from a fiber-optic tree and one lighted wreath so be it. If you love to go all out because it brings you joy by all means do your thing! If it starts to be demanding or something you feel you should do maybe it’s time rethink why you’re doing it. The last and most important step is to enjoy the process and the results.
As in the usual fashion when I was done late Saturday night, I took some pictures our tree wearing all it’s red and white goodness this year along with other areas I’d decorated in the living room. But strangely enough the only pictures that turned out– and if you remember last week’s post you can probably guess why– were the ones that included baby Jesus.
The simplest Christmas of all was the first one.
A baby and a manger.
Angels, some sheep and a star.
How are you keeping Christmas simple this year?