As a little girl, I would spend hours looking through design magazines and watching home decorating shows on TV — all the while, anticipating the day I would have my very own home to decorate.
My mom never did any seasonal decorating, but she did put up a bunch of Christmas decorations every year — including 2 big trees with TONS of ornaments. As far as I can remember, we almost always put up the Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving (or sometime that weekend) and for the next 6 weeks, we enjoyed candles burning, Christmas tree lights twinkling, holiday music playing, and lots of delicious baked goods.
I can vividly remember one specific time when I was in 5th or 6th grade. We put up all the decorations, cleaned the entire house, baked my favorite caramel fudge brownies (sorry, the recipe is not on my blog… yet!), lit all the candles, and turned on all the Christmas lights (probably some Christmas music too). I sat at the kitchen table eating brownies, drinking hot chocolate, watching my mom clean up the kitchen, and thinking about how much fun it would be to decorate my own house with my own kids some day.
Then, 7 years ago, I decorated our house for Dave and my first Christmas as a married couple… and it was just as much fun as I hoped it would be. I raided local thrift stores, used natural items from outside, did a few crafty projects, and ended up with quite a nice collection of Christmas decorations for just a few bucks.
Our house definitely wasn’t magazine worthy, but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire decorating process.
For the next several years, I continued to grow (and purge) my collection of thrift store Christmas decorations and I continued to develop my decorating style. I looked forward to the holiday season every year because I honestly just loved switching up our home’s decor for 6 weeks of the year.
In fact, I loved decorating for Christmas so much that I even started decorating for Fall and then swapping those decorations out for Christmas decor a couple months later.
It was a decent amount of work, but I enjoyed doing it, I looked forward to it each year, and I didn’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. Win, win, win!
Then we moved to our farmhouse and my decorating excitement grew to a whole new level. I went crazy, decorating every room (including the upstairs which we weren’t using at the time) with trees, lights, ornaments, Nativity Scenes, etc. But again, I really enjoyed doing it and it did look lovely.
Even the last two years with Nora around, I was still really excited to decorate with natural items for Fall and then come up with a child-friendly way to spruce up our home for the Christmas season. We hosted a bunch of parties and I was thrilled with how our decorations turned out.
This year however, when September rolled around, the thought of spending a couple afternoons decorating our house for fall just sounded awful. I still can’t believe that I haven’t had the urge to pull out my bin of Fall decorations, buy a few pumpkins at our neighborhood stand, or even just bring in a few pinecones and colorful leaves.
It’s now the middle of October and I’ve doing nothing in terms of Fall decorations. Absolutely nothing — and I don’t plan to do anything in the next month either.
I tried to convince myself that I SHOULD do some decorating, but at the same time, it is literally the last thing I feel like doing — and Nora is not old enough to get excited about decorating the house with mom.
So, I shrugged my shoulders and decided that my life and our home would both be a little simpler without Fall decorations this year; and I’m OK with that. While I still absolutely love looking at other seasonally decorated homes, ours will just be somewhat plain this year.
And as I think ahead to Christmas, I’ve already decided that less is more.
We will still display our holiday cards, we’ll still light a few candles and play a bunch of Christmas music, and I think we’ll still put up one big tree so Nora can experience that; but I think that will be it. Ironically, this will be the first year since we’ve been married where we aren’t hosting any holiday parties, so it kind of works out perfectly!
I have a feeling that this year, we’ll be so busy celebrating Nora’s 2nd birthday that we won’t even miss our previous tradition of transforming our home into “Christmas mode” over Thanksgiving break
And I don’t think any of us will be traumatized by one year without Fall or Christmas decorations.
We have plenty of other projects to keep ourselves occupied this holiday season — including renovating an upstairs bedroom for Nora’s big-girl room, transforming the loft into a fun play area, setting up the nursery for baby #2, and following along with Dave’s basketball team.
I fully anticipate (and hope) that I will get back into some sort of decorating groove in the coming years. I know how much I loved decorating my childhood home for Christmas and I want our kids to experience that too. Just not this year.
Also, I don’t want anyone to think that I said decorating in general is a waste of time. It’s totally not — as long as you enjoy doing it (or at least enjoy the finished product enough to justify the time involved.)
I LOVE decorating our house and I LOVE fully decorated homes dripping with seasonal charm. I just also love sleeping, working on my digital photo albums (which I’m painfully behind on right now), and small amounts of free time — so this year, those leisure activities are trumping my love of holiday decorating 🙂