Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Lesson Well Spent


A few weeks back, I started thinking of ideas for holiday decorating. My theme was old timey, but in a sparkly 1930's movie way (ie. my fave film, The Thin Man). I started purchasing silvery balls to dangle from the ceiling and sparkly candles shaped like trees. I bought some glass candle holders in which to put red tapers and a garland made to look like icicles. On Sunday, while kidlet was napping, I thought I'd surprise her and have a sparkly, shiny decoration filled living room. Well, I put the stuff up and...it was spartan. Sparkly, yes, but cold and sparse. It may have worked in a sleek, modern home, but not on our weathered brick mantle. I was mad. I grumbled and took it all down (except for the tree candles). As I was packing the remaining stuff, I kvetched to myself about how I spent all this money and it all looked like crap. And then I stopped. Why did I spend all this money? Am I trying to buy an instant golden holiday memory with the junk that I put on the mantle? And I realized, yes, that was what I was trying to do. I put up our mismatched holiday stockings next to the tree candles and started making new plans. Maybe we'll go for a walk and pick up some pinecones or branches. Maybe I'll get kidlet to paint a picture in holiday colors. Maybe none of these things will happen but that's ok. Whatever happens, happens. I can't force a good yule on my family. In fact, that's a mighty bad idea. You'd think I'd know better. A lesson (re)learned.

We did get our tree this weekend and hubby pulled out a box of ornaments that his mom had brought by. It was the instant nostalgia fix that I was looking for. Old elves and gnomes, baked dough ornaments painted by a small hand, hubby's first ornament...the tree looks great. The photo above is a little corner that kidlet had decorated. I tried but couldn't get decent pictures of kidlet's decorating style, which consists of about half a dozen star ornaments all dangling precariously from a single spindly branch. Hmmm, I just typed 'brandy', instead of 'branch'. Talk about instant holiday cheer...

4 comments:

Knitting Momma said...

Thank you for sharing this.

I love kidlet's decorating style...want to send her to Omaha to help me out? ;)

The Whole Self said...

ha!

i loved this post because i think we all struggle with what you describe- those damn magazines and movies and ads make it all look perfect- and in reality, there's got to be room for the bedazzled paper plates and glittery pine cones.

you are so right.

bekka said...

you are so on the ball. i told DH the other day that we need to erect the tree--it's fake. maybe this weekend?

madre adoptiva said...

I'm playing catch up on your posts, so I'm a little late. I just love this post for so many reasons. Mainly because Ray reminds me of this very sentiment yearly and I never listen and at the end of it all (Christmas night), I realize I should have. I'm always trying to match the standard that is set by society and it makes the holidays less than enjoyable. Maybe we should remind each other next year, come Christmas time, what it's all about. I wish I had read this post back in November!