You may find this odd coming from a person who likes decorating, but the only holiday I decorate my house for is Christmas. I don’t decorate for Halloween, Easter nor the Fourth of July. Ok, I do decorate my kids’ doors for their birthdays. And I will change out the pillows on my porch and the décor on my front door for various seasons.
As I’ve gained wisdom (ahem!) over the years, I’ve found it’s a lot of work to change the décor, especially when it comes to Christmas, right? When I was a newlywed, I thought it was so fun to decorate our new-to-us house for Christmas. Of course, we would go out and buy a real tree every year. Then, I quickly became disenchanted with vacuuming up the needles under the tree. And getting that beast out of the house without getting pine needles everywhere? Forget about it! One year, my husband didn’t cut the base of the tree far enough and it sapped over, not allowing any water to get into the tree; it died of thirst two weeks before Christmas. That was the year we bought a beautiful “permanent” tree in an after-Christmas sale. Our $500 tree was $99 — and we’ve enjoyed it now for around 15 years! Best investment ever!
I remember laughing at my former boss’ story about her elderly mother, who had a completely decorated tree hidden in a closet. She would literally roll the tree out (on a table with wheels) and roll it back into the closet after Christmas. Bah humbug, I thought! Now, 20 years later, I’m thinking that is a brilliant idea!
Don’t get me wrong, I love setting up our nativity display, which has been added to each year by my mom’s thoughtful gift giving. And those ornaments that the kids made with their sweet little faces? So precious. I do not have a designer tree. Every ornament we have goes on the tree — even my own smiling face from kindergarten framed out in a paper doily. Our tree is based in our bonus room over our garage, which is the playroom.
Every year, I swear our tree grows in that darn box because I always run out of lights. Last year, however, in my mad dash to the store the day after Thanksgiving to buy lights for our half-strung tree, I got smart and bought two extra sets of lights. There’s still an unopened box of 100 lights in my stash just in case it decides to grow again!
As I’ve decorated my own home for 19 years, I realize that I have imposed some rules on myself regarding Christmas décor. I have many friends who follow none of these rules, and that is completely ok with me since I’m not living there! Here are my rules for Christmas decorating:
- Always use white lights. They’ll make even a Charlie Brown tree look classy.
- Decorate with non-traditional Christmas colors. I have never used crimson red or traditional green in my decorating, but rather burgundy and gold. This year, since our main level was painted blue, I changed out our stockings and used a little more silver, along with the gold.
- Don’t go overboard. My decorating is pretty simple. However, it still takes me two days to put up and one day to take down.
- Decorate the day after Thanksgiving, never before.
- I don’t put the presents under the tree until a day or two before.
- Always take décor down by New Year’s Day, and usually sooner if we aren’t hosting a New Year’s Eve party.
- Storage bins are clearly labeled and organized for Christmas décor. I will do a future post on how I organize my stash in the off-season.
Here is a little tour of the additional merry in our house:
Do you notice our dog Crosby looking expectantly at the stockings? I think he was a bit curious about the furry one.
I will post more about this “giving jar” later this week. Can you guess what’s inside?
I’d love to see photos of your Christmas decorations! What “rules” do you have for your holiday decorating?