Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Decorations? Less is More...More or less

Simply Beautiful!!
Whoever first spoke the words “Less is more” had to be my age. Someone who after years and years of spending hours and days decorating every room in the house for the holidays, finally asked themselves “why?” I will admit to some degree that come December each year, my house looked like Christmas on steroids. Lights, garland, tinsel and holly everywhere. And let’s not forget those dreaded village scenes. Days of creating miniature ceramic towns where it was forever winter, forever wonderful…and now, forever packed away in the attic.

Today, my house is on a holiday trim-down, a diet, more or less. I have come to realize in my middle years that simple is better. Simple is elegance. Simple is easier. And I am lucky to come to this realization at a time in my life when any other any other way of of doing things would just cause exhaustion. I’m also tying this new way of thinking into the fact that this is an adult house now. No young children to dazzle with displays. We are hovering in between engagements, long-term commitments and grandchildren. On Santa’s radar, our house is in the no-fly zone. So, simplicity works! Don’t misunderstand though, I love Christmas and all that it stands for, I am just more likely to remember these days that what goes up, must come down.

More to point, I recently changed my profile picture on my Facebook account to a holiday photo. It was a picture of a tree from Terrain at Styer's, a beautiful landscape and nursery business in Pennsylvania. This tree, in the photo above, intrigued me. A small simple Fraser Fir that looks as if someone started to put lights on, got to a point and said “ah, that’s enough” and walked away. And even in its unfinished state, it is gorgeous. It's well...simple.

I started taking stock of my attic inventory. There were four large plastic containers each marked with decorations for various rooms (I am not including the trim-a-tree totes in this count). Anyway, as I rummaged through the containers, I realized that a lot of what was in them hadn't been put up in years, so trash bags were brought into play. Anything with fur or made of ceramic was disposed of. Then I gathered things I would sell at a yard sale I am planning to have this spring and boxed them up. When I was finished, four totes fit into two. Now we're on task.
So pretty, so simple, so inexpensive!
Hellooooo  Santa!!

I came back downstairs and took stock of each room. I am not a designer by any means. But even I can look at magazines and get ideas from those with real talent, and the one thing I've picked up on is the simple beauty of fresh greens. They are so fragrant. So naturally beautiful. So easy to throw out at the end of the season. No storage. 

Like most of us, my kitchen is where I spend a large amount of my time during the holidays. I will admit that in the past, more than once, I would have to move holiday decor to roll out the cookie dough. Not this year, lean and mean is my motto. My kitchen Santa, who once wore a red suite and moved his head from side to side to keep an eye on two young boys at the table, has been replaced by one dressed much more casually and bearing wine. Now that is a mature holiday kitchen!!

Over the next several days and weeks, there will be many, many blogs and posts by people who have the talent and the knowledge to make your home a spectacular holiday vision. I'm not one of them. But, I can tell you this. For die hard Christmas addicts like me, it takes more than a notion to scale down the decor, to throw out the old and faded, and to bring in the simplicity of nature. But once you do, you will be thrilled by your new holiday look. Give it a shot! I promise you, less is definitely more.

Photos by Jo Ann Phelps, ImageGoggle 

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