With many of us digging into the deepest recesses of our homes to unearth the Christmas decorations the time has come to Tuck in Christmas.
So the question is how do you decorate for Christmas? Do you sweep the decks and start with a clean slate? Do you go for a different “theme” every year? Or do you tuck Christmas in?
I love my home and the way it looks most of the time. The eb and flow of acquisition the sometimes, stagnant state of a cabinet just because I love the way it looks, so why change it. The feeling of satisfaction when I look at it day after day and still say to myself, Yup it’s still good.
The comment I hear most from my clients is “I love the way my house looks at the holidays. It is so festive and full.” My question to them is why don’t you feel that way the rest of the year. Once the decorations are down your home should still feel festive and full but in a more sedate every day kind of way. I think this is what leads to the “Holiday Blues”. I have to admit that I am as excited about putting Christmas away as I am about getting it out. It is a new opportunity to see things in a different light.
You should always be deliberate when selecting furnishings for your home. I think we are less intimidated by selecting Christmas decorations. The old “If I don’t like it in a couple of years I can give it away” syndrome. This is where I preach to the choir. Buy what makes you smile, your heart pound, your imagination soar. This is true whether you are shopping for accessories for your every day home or for your Christmas home. Acquire items that lift your spirit and inspire you. If you start searching with this mentality in mind, I guarantee you will select things that will give you pleasure and be with you for years to come.
When asked what the theme of my tree will be, I always say I don’t do themes. We do a family tree. Ornaments collected from 44 years of marriage, 2 daughters, and 3 grandchildren. From the sublime to the ridiculous, the expensive to the cheap, home made to almost made, it all goes on the tree.
Each year when I unwrap the ornaments it is Christmas all over again. Remembering the mood when I acquired the treasure. The smile that came across my face when first seen, is the same smile when placed on the tree once again. The gingerbread bells made by my daughters when they were in kindergarten with the offset sequins. The Radco lighthouse purchased with my parents in Maine! The mystery hand blown and hand painted Ship that showed up on my mom’s doorstep, with no card. I knew it was for me because I had mentioned to a friend how I had admired it. I always think of her with delight when I carefully place it on the tree. To this day she has never taken responsibility for the gift. Then there is the crazy Radco Sylvester tree topper, given to me by my girls because it made them smile. These are the memories that create history, our history. I don’t actively buy ornaments anymore; oh occasionally one will catch my eye but at this point in my life I am content to enjoy the memories and challenge myself to find new ways to use them.
After the tree is decorated I tuck in some greens here and there around the house and call it good. In other cases I will empty a cupboard and start over. Often a lot of the items go right back in amongst the Christmas dishes and crazy brickaback.
There are the hand carved Santa’s made exclusively for my parents by their best friend and sent with a letter of introduction. A story about how each Santa came to be, often depicting something they came across on their travels together. They were kindred spirits in antiques, travel, and life.
The Christmas sampler stockings lovingly stitched by me in the 90”s for my daughters and granddaughter. The grand boys have Pottery Barn stockings because you know, they’re boys! Not because they don’t deserve hand made stockings (I made them each a stocking for their house) but because embroidered stockings are just not their style! They are 4 and soon to be 6.
It is the sum of a life of collecting that makes my home magical at Christmas not the flavor of the moment. I love my home whether it is Christmas or the February doldrums. There is always something interesting to look at and enjoy.
So I ask again, how do you decorate for Christmas. What are your special memories or collections that make your hearts soar. Please Share