Scaling Down

I'm not sure where I got the notion from, but I am under the impression that Christmas is a holiday that needs to be done right. I come from a long line of non-decorators. My grandmother may or may not have put up a tree in my remembrance. (If she did, it obviously wasn't note-worthy.) My own mother decorated every year while we were home but the minute we moved out she stopped doing much of anything at all. "Trees are messy" she said. And that was that.

When we lived in our single wide trailer, there wasn't much room to decorate. In fact, when we were squashed in there with 4 kids and 3 dogs, had home school books and boxes stacked in two corners of the living room because our bedroom couldn't hold any more storage, and the kids bedrooms doubled as playrooms, there wasn't much space to do anything at all in. You kinda sorta had to walk around the tree in the middle of the living room floor because that was the only available space we had going.

The year we moved into our house I decorated. I decorated two floors. (We had 2 floors of living space!) I hung shiny balls from every curtain rod and two shower curtains - the entire length of them. I decorated bedroom doors, and the laundry room and every bathroom. I even decorated the patio furniture, pony stable, and dog kennel. It was awesome. (Mental note: dogs will eat ribbons off wreaths through the chain link.)

And then I opened The Rocking Pony and realized that working women don't have time to do that kind of decorating. My OCD decorating side couldn't let go, so I had the brilliant idea that putting up more trees would be easier and quicker than decorating 2 floors of living space. Running with the premise that more is better, I somehow managed to wind up with 5 trees in the downstairs. No time saved, really.

This year, determined to get a head start on things, I started decorating in early November. In my mind. In reality, the attic wasn't raided until the week before Thanksgiving, and then the store got slammed with orders. No time to decorate. My trees stood bare in the living room for nearly 3 weeks before I got around to dressing them this year. And somewhere in the last few weeks I realized that sometimes less is more.

It's so freeing to put more back in the attic untouched than you actually unboxed. Who knew? This holiday season I'm learning to let go. We won't call it laziness because that's such an ugly word. Let's call it getting in touch with the real meaning of the season.

9 comments:

Gina said...

The Mickeys look great!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Amen to that! I can promise you that there's not going to be as much Christmas thrown about this year as in previous at this house as well!

Viv said...

With the exception of the decorating my three year old took upon himself to do, our tree remains untouched. It is lurking at the bottom of my 'to do' list, I'm sure that when Christmas Eve comes along I'll bump it up to first priority.

caramama said...

Why is it so hard to let things go this time of year? It should be a joyous time, yet it always so full of stress and Things To Do.

Good for you dialing it back this year. I don't think it will affect the happiness and joy during the seasonal at all. Just give you less stress. :-)

Roger said...

I know that a few years back, I sort of hit a wall when it came to decorating, and just didn't feel like doing anything. In fact there were a couple of years where there were no lights outside. Since then, I have slowly been doing a little more each year - getting my groove back, if you will. So much so, that I told Jenni I wanted to do to our house what Cinderella has done to hers. :)

Okay, that might be a tad much. Love the Mickey by the way!

MoonNStarMommy said...

Yay!! How fun!! (love the photo!) ... We have our tree up and the living room decked out some. Nathan looooooooves the lights, and who doesn't, so we lined the living room with them.

Michelle said...

I love this post! It isn't the decorating but the love that's shared. And ummm we have no tree yet. And we don't look like we'll have time until next Saturday. Or Sunday. Oops.

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

It is so hard to say no during this time of the year, and it seems that I am often reminding myself that the kids won't remember if there were 8 strands of lights on the tree or 10, and they won't care if only 1/2 of the decorations make it up . . . it is the time spent together that matters, and if that means keeping a few boxes of decorations packed, then so be it.

Karen Deborah said...

Either way 5 trees or one you will have a happy time with the kids and that's what it's about.