Sunday, December 8, 2013

Outdoor Christmas Decor

This month, I am struggling with most of the blogs I visit and love. It's no particular blog--it's just this general feeling I have picked up that somehow to be blog worthy, it must be "pinterest-worthy." There's a message creeping through that our holiday décor needs to be inventive, imaginative, unique, beautiful and environmentally conscious. To me, it seems we're reinventing Christmas in order to have new things to show each other.

Nothing wrong with that. But, I'm not there. I'm just not. And I have no wish to be. Not this year.

For example, the humble Christmas wreath.


On a little internet jaunt one night, I came across it reinterpreted in fabulous and inventive ways. Clothespins! Embroidery Hoops! Even those made with greenery, ribbons and ornaments looked fresh and new. (The collection which I'm speaking about can be accessed here.)

There are some really wonderful wreath projects out there--and some unique and gorgeous Christmas decor--and they are just the thing if you are looking to infuse your decorating with something new and different--if you need a bit of something to get your creative juices flowing.

But from where I sit all this wonderful creativity is a choice, not a necessity.

You do not have to create beautiful, unique, creative Christmas décor. You don't even have to create simple, frugal, minimalist Christmas décor. You don't have to have any décor at all-- that's not what Christmas is all about. We all know this, already. I just wanted to remind us.

Many years ago, decorating for Christmas was a creative outlet for me. Before I married, I used to take great pains with wrapping presents. Nothing too far out there--but every single one had an artfully placed ribbon (sometimes two) and a bow. My first Christmas as a married woman, I made a popcorn garland. It was my beginning to celebrating Christmas with my own little family.

But as the years have gone by, Christmas has become less and less about me and what I want--and more and more about us, the family, the kids, and what, sometimes, they want. No one but me really wants to fuss. And so, over the years, I've learned to let it go.

My own wreath, an old fake form of wire and plastic simulating pine boughs, festooned with various picks my daughter found at Michael's seems, well, unambitious would be one word I could use.

My daughter loved the colours in the berries and the sparkle of the birds. So did I. I gave her the job of putting it together while I was at work, but she wasn't happy with her efforts.

So, I did it.


My husband and my son hung the lights one day while I was at work, too. As my husband drove me home one dark evening, he didn't say a word about it. It wasn't 'til we rounded the corner to the house that I knew they had gone out and put them up. It was a lovely surprise. My husband enjoyed the fuss I made.

Taken at 8am. It's too cold to set up the tripod and take a proper photo in the dark!

This is us.

This is how we have chosen to celebrate Christmas. The decorations are things we do together--and the "together" part is our challenge --and our choice-- this year.


min hus said...

I totally agree. I've never felt the need to change Christmas decor every year (heck, I switched once since moving out of my parents house when I upgraded from a fake 3-ft tree to a fake 5 ft tree). I only look at them once per year anyway! If someone enjoys and wants to do that, by all means, but we don't need to add any more pressure this time of year.

onshore said...

You are so right! I love that some people do like to put time and effort into new Christmas decorations each year but everyone should no that it is not a necessity. And I like spending time on some decorations too, but I try to only do what feels good.

Your husband made a really lovely surprise for you. Wow.

onshore said...


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love reading your blog. I am in Tennessee, and I find your life in the blog without 'heir' or put-on. I like that. I don't have a lot of fru-fru decorations, and I feel like if I thought enough of it to buy it, then use what you got. Thank you for your openness and sincerity.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

How delightful and honest was your post.

I live in a tiny 50's cottage. It's my simple, humble haven. It is what it is. There is a lot of love, a lot of curbside found treats, lots of memories.

I love that you were surprised with your outside lights on your home. That was really sweet and it looks lovely.

Continue to have a lovely, stress free and peer pressure free Christmas holidays season.


Grace Ramstad said...

I missed this post in the busyness of the past week--but just want to say, "me too!" Part of the reason I missed it is because it's been busy (it was my birthday a few days ago, in addition to the holiday stuff) but part is that I'm waiting for the blogs to go back to their more usual fare. I appreciate this post tremendously.

Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

Oops--that last comment wasn't from Grace, it was from me. :-)

Alana in Canada said...

"Grace" sounded awfully familiar to me, but I could not for the life of me think who she was-- or here I might have "met" her. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Rita.

Alana in Canada said...

and Happy Birthday!

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