Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Decorating for the Holidays. Or Not.


I've always loved decorating for the holidays, whatever the holiday. My mom was always a decorating fanatic and I continued on decorating everything that didn't move (and some stuff that did) after I had my own home and through all the years of raising children. Sometimes I was the first one to drag out the holiday boxes, sometimes the kids beat me to it. But whichever, the house was always festooned with something - eggs and bunnies, flags, spooky skeletons, holly and ivy.

Of course Halloween was my favorite time. Even more than the traditional Christmas and Yule. I probably have more orange and black storage boxes full of decorations for October than I do green and red ones for December.

But the last few years, I've had a hard time dragging out the boxes and garlanding and hanging anything. It's not that I've stopped enjoying the holidays themselves, far from it. It's the decorating that has stopped being enjoyable.

In part, because my house has been in a long term transition stage for the last handful of years. Kids growing up and moving out, teens still home filling the house and schedule with sports equipment, travel, changing hobbies and accumulated... stuff. It's not a pretty sight. How fun is it to decorate if one is looking at a good long challenge just to clear off some horizontal surfaces first!?

And how fun is it to decorate if the family isn't around, or around much, and doesn't really care? I know, I can decorate for my own pleasure. And I do. But it's still not as fun as decorating knowing other people will enjoy it too.

And then there's the cats - too many cats. They'd just break or knock over or sleep in whatever vignette I arranged anyway. Example. I bought this cute little metal frog at the pumpkin patch this year. He's heavy, like a paper weight. I put him on top of a cabinet in the living room. Three times I've found him on the floor. I complained to Hubby, thinking he was being careless passing by him and knocking him off. Hubby swore it was the cats. Right. The cats are knocking a HEAVY frog onto the floor. Sure.

And then one night I heard a little scraping sound, looked up from my book, and saw Evil Kitty (her name is Yoda but we all call her Evil Kitty because she has stare downs with all the other animals, driving them crazy. Sort of the cat version of "MOM! He's looking out MY window!") I saw Evil Kitty methodically pushing the frog closer and closer to the..... CRASH..... and watching it fall with great satisfaction on her black fuzzy face.


What was I talking about again......?.... oh yeah, decorating. I think another issue is that I've accumulated TOO MANY DECORATIONS. I loved it so much that I..... maybe..... burned myself out. Dragging out two or three boxes and spending an afternoon setting up a few scenes is fun. MORE BOXES (I am NOT going to tell you exactly how many. Fortunately, I haven't counted them so I couldn't tell you even if I wanted to) that require the better part of a week to set out, is not fun. Or rather, it would only be fun in a world that allowed me to suspend time and all other commitments so that the hours didn't come out of the generally accepted pool of 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week.

I decided years ago that most holidays could be cut back to a few seasonal splashes and call it done. But Halloween and Yule, they beg for embellishments. Decorating is part of the fun. But so is candy and parties, baking, music, pumpkin patches, tree farms, Starbucks seasonal lattes, travel, family, gift making, blogging parties. There's so much to do and so little time to do it all in.

This year I've been so far behind I've vowed to let go of my expectations and just enjoy whatever unfolds. I've done this before and it's truly the way to go. Despite my whining here, on this subject, I am having a lovely holiday season to date. It's just, it makes me sad that I never got around to decorating. I know once the season is past, I'll have to wait another whole year for another chance to string my yard with gravestones and skeletons.

Well, I could. But my neighbors already think I'm crazy. Sigh.


Blogger Toni and John said...

We don't do a lot of decorating except for Yule. My bunnies are out year round. We don't have our cats indoors so they don't knock anything off. But we already have so much stuff that I cringe at adding more that needs to be in storage most of the year.

2:38 PM  
Blogger LeslieN said...

I think I've got the perfect solution for you, so that you can still decorate, for your own pleasure, without being overwhelmed. Since you have a terrific selection of decorations for whatever holiday, you could pick one area of one of the public rooms (kitchen, living room, whatever) and then use only a small part of your holiday stash to decorate that spot. Treat your decorations like museum pieces and rotate them. This year, for Thanksgiving, bring out the turkeys and leave the Pilgrims in storage until next year. Next year, no turkeys, etc. That way the decorations will be special again and you won't be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. And I'll get to see pictures of the clever use of turkeys.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Julie ZS said...

Ahh the decorating in the midst of clutter dilemma, I hear you on that one. This year I put off decorating and made myself clean up a few areas so that they could then be decorated, but that's been about it. that and I can't find at least one box of crucial decorations that I'm missing this year. :-( I really love the wreath that you've got on this post, it is beautiful!

5:56 PM  
Blogger mermaiden said...

i relate in many ways! i just did a big huge clean, and man was it an ugly event. i didn't realize how bad some things have gotten. TooMuchStuff. Not decorating at all this year, cept for some great pumpkins on the porch the nasty squirrels are already eating. (rodents)

9:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home