This time of year is such a mix of emotions for us. On one hand, it is hectic and busy. Finishing up end of year projects, coordinating travel and holiday plans with family and friends, and of course the added expenses and stress of shopping for the perfect gifts. And although it is easy to get caught up in this flurry of planning and scheduling, it is essential to take a moment to really appreciate the positive aspects of this wonderful season.
Yes…we said wonderful. Because we truly believe that it is. The cooler weather evokes a sense of coziness and comfort. The shorter days give us longer nights to pause, slow down, and catch up on rest and recuperation. We find ourselves reconnecting with our loved ones. And as we dust off the box of decorations that has been sitting in storage for the past year, we set about visualizing how to set up our living space to best accommodate our growing holiday spirit.
This involves a number of decisions and options to consider. Below you will find a few things that we think about when it comes to decorating for the season. Maybe you can relate to a few of them.
Real vs. Artificial
In my family, one of our annual traditions is a heated conversation over what kind of tree we will be getting. I always have images of hiking around a farm as snow softly falls, finding the perfect tree as we drink hot cider and cocoa. The reality usually looks a little more like shivering, runny noses, complaining, and sometimes crying, leading my significant other to strongly suggest investing in an artificial tree that can simply be retrieved from the attic in its nice compact box, free of stray pine needles, and all in the comforts of our very own home. I must admit, the ease of this option certainly has its appeal, but I still love the outdoorsy experience and the smell of a fresh tree to really get me in the spirit.
Once we finally agree on the perfect tree, the next task to tackle is where to put this magnificent thing. Unfortunately, not all houses are designed with extra Christmas tree room, I know that mine is certainly not. The first decision is which room is lucky enough to house this object. Should it be the dining room with the big window looking out on the street so that our neighbors can view the twinkly lights also, or should it be in the living room so that we can fully enjoy the fruits of our labor? I personally opt for our living space. Now that we know where it will go, we have to determine the how. This involves some strategic rearrangement of furniture. Usually the recliner or love seat retires to the kids play room, decreasing seating area, but increasing our personal holiday enjoyment.
I would say I am a middle of the road decorator. I don’t go completely overboard, covering every square inch of the house in lights and greenery, but I do like to showcase my enthusiasm for the season. I can’t help it, this is what makes me happy. But the outdoor decorating can be a little tricky. Do I go for classy white lights or festive color? Simple or elaborate? Just around railings or ambitiously affixed to the roof? The truth is, I mix it up every year, but it is important to take into account safety and access to electrical outlets before finalizing this decision.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what runs through my mind when December descends upon us in all of her glory. Now you have gotten a glimpse into the confessions of a serial holiday enthusiast. Some of you may understand these dilemmas completely, and some of you may think I am crazy. Either way, I hope you all have fun decorating (or not decorating) as much as your heart desires. Enjoy, in the blink of an eye we will be on to the new year.