Friday, December 4, 2015

'Tis the Season

This will be the Christmas wherein I discovered I don't like approximately 80% of my Christmas decorations.  Admittedly, the Christmas and wintertime decor has big shoes to fill, coming on the heels of autumn and a happily cultivated collection of orange and leaves and pumpkins. Even in a big pile on the dining table, the fall colors make my knees weak, and I want to just climb into the box of leaf garlands and wait until they come back out next September.  

When I pulled all the winter decor boxes out of the garage and unpacked them, I found disappointingly little that I liked and with honest evaluation, very few things fit in naturally with my decor.  It was the KonMari method applied to Christmas decorations and not very many of them gave me joy.  I inherited a lot of things from my Mom, and although they render fond memories, things from 1977 just don't fit in my 2015 home :o)

So, I put out what I love, packed away things I just can't part with, and filled a big bag for the donation center with the rest of it.  Then I noted where the holes were and went shopping, wherein I decided that the majority of Christmas decorations to be bought are cheap, plastic, and junky.  Most people are so ready to put their Christmas stuff away as soon as the holidays are over, because there's something about Christmas decor after a frenzied month of celebrating that makes the house feel cluttered and stuffy.  Since I decorate for the seasons, I weed out the obviously Christmas things at the end of December and everything winter stays until spring, so I suppose there's a little more pressure to find things that I love that won't make me itch to put it all away before spring arrives, which would leave the house spartan and cold.

As I wandered the aisles looking for items to add to my winter decor, I decided it was time to define my Christmas and winter decor style.  Goodness knows, there's every possible color scheme and theme, whether it has to do with the meaning of Christmas or not.  I ruled out country, I ruled out North Pole and Santa Claus.  I ruled out crafty, I ruled out cute, I ruled out overly ornate, I ruled out candyland colors.  All have their charms, but they don't fit me and my house.

Finally I came down to keeping it simple with a few basic colors and what I gravitate to for the seasons anyway: reflections of natural seasonal elements.  I'm going with red and gold and black and white with lots of berries and twigs and grapvine-ish things, and using favorite books to remind us Christmas is about the birth of the Savior.

Our wish-lists are hung in the kitchen with care, and we've discussed our favorite traditions and ways to celebrate.  We'll watch a Christmas movie together (my fingers are crossed for A Christmas Carol), play with the Elf on the Shelf (Click }here{ to read more about getting your older kids involved with this ... in our family everyone gets to do something with the Elf four times before Christmas - it's so much fun!), fill stockings with surprise gifts from Secret Santas, and take in a live Christmas production before hosting family and friends for dinner on Christmas day.  All this lined out and decided, and I'm ready to settle in to the season and take in as much joy as I can.  

For years I've collected fall decor, filled it out, and fluffed it up.  The other three seasons are really just waiting periods until golden autumn can glow in my house again.  I wish it could be fall all the time ... but then how would I know just how lovely it is without anything to compare it to?  Maybe its a metaphor for life, this practice of decorating for three seasons that don't fill my heart with their splendor.  Maybe I need to be better present to all the seasons - and oh yes! to the ordinary days, the nondescript day in and day out - to fully experience and celebrate joy.  I want to feel as resonant and alive in every season as I do in the fall.  It's joy in every season, not just autumn, after all :o)  I don't revel and resonate in the Christmas and winter decor like I do fall, but it will do.  The twinkly lights help pull me into the joyous sparkle of right now.  I aspire to make my home a place that fills my soul and makes my heat sing in all four seasons - autumn is the gold standard, but I want a house that glows with contentment 365 days a year.  I'll start with Christmas.  

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

  1. Putting away the fall décor makes me a irrationally grumpy, I can't lie. But I'm thankful to have made it through the transition … I'm looking forward to the pleasures of winter like cozy fires, hot chocolate, long evenings and maybe - just maybe!- some snow! with no ice, no loss of electricity, and streets clear by 9am if you please :)