17 December 2013

The sight of thee at Christmas time spreads hope and gladness far and wide

If there’s ever a time to run around crazy-busy and yet still feel completely unproductive, it’s the holidays. I feel like I’m putting every free minute to prepping for the holiday and staying up late to complete tasks and wrapping THIS and mailing THAT... but then I see what others have been up to, and I think, “Geez, I didn’t do any decorating besides the tree. I didn’t make any crafts. I didn’t make super-special Christmas treats and I definitely didn’t order live greenery to swag around my house. I am a holiday failure.”

But then I read my manifesto on simple Christmas decor from previous years, and I realize: there is so much more to celebrating the season than decorating. So let’s step back today, take a deep breath, and pat ourselves on the back for Christmas tasks we have accomplished. Have you bought any presents? Good job! Did you manage to drag a few decorations out of the attic? You are totally winning this Christmas race! Have you stuffed your gut at a party? That takes commitment and I applaud your holiday spirit!

And most of all: decorating a Christmas tree should be recognized as the monumental task that it is.

Two years ago I walked you through the whole Christmas tree process, from base to topper. It’s an ordeal! But the gold-and-red result was lovely (and see here why a fancy “department store tree” is actually most sentimental for me).

Last year, I kept it simple in our new apartment, just using our gold and silver without purchasing any new ornaments:

But just after Christmas last year, I hit the 90%-off-décor section and made my tree match the rest of my apartment for this holiday season.

That’s right. My tree is on-trend for 2013. Presenting: our gold-and-blue Christmas tree.

I bought one package of large blue sparkly ornaments and a second set of smaller ones, either shiny or pearlescent, and mixed them in with our existing gold and crystal.

I kept the rest of the tree-trimming SUPER simple. Since I didn’t even pull the lights off it last year, I just had to plug it in (and ignore, for the second year in a row, how unevenly I distributed the lights on the tree, gah). I also skipped the beads, since they take so long to drape around the tree.

And yet, it still looks super full and lush and grand. Who knew that less could still look like more?

Bonus with the blinding brightness of my unevenly distributed lights!

I’m even going to pretend that the askew star adds personality. Because just getting that star up there is a success!

So that’s the bulk of our Christmas decorations this year. I threw a few ornaments in the candle holders in our fireplace (like I did here), and I made sure to display my “Merry Christmas” sign and our “First Christmas Together” snowmen (in the same places I did here). Good enough, and good job!

And hey, our blue and gold Christmas tree can now reflect back at me all the blue-and-gold changes I made to our home throughout the year! That’s hard work I can be proud of.

(oh hey Mr. P!)

Is your tree up yet? And if it’s not, may I humbly suggest my Christmas-tree-trimming tradition: watching Love Actually and drinking wine, while you put it up?


Rachel said...

Love Actually, wine, and decorating? Why didn't you suggest that earlier?

Tina said...

Your tree is so pretty!!! :-)
I actually thoroughly enjoyed decorating our tree this year with the thought that I'm not going to undecorate it. Nope. I'm going to shrink wrap this one with a roll of wide plastic made by duck tape that I've seen at the big box store. Yep. I am. Come next year, I'll either roll it out again or decorate one of the half dozen other trees we have around here... and then wrap it up, too. In 5 or 6 years, when I feel too old to decorate a tree, I'll have one in every room! Excuse me now while I pat my clever self on the back. :-)

Janice said...

Love the trees past and present! I didn't do much decorating this year either. So it goes. The holiday is about more than tinsel and ropings for me this year :) (You buying that? cause I'm hoping you are!)