This time last year I welcomed nearly 1200 people into my home on a snowy Saturday afternoon as our house was featured on the Bethlehem Historic District Holiday House Tour. And although I love a well-decorated home, last year’s decorating began in late October and was definitely over the top, even for me. It seems that I am still recovering from this decorating overload (we didn’t manage to find the last “Elf on the Shelf” until July) as this December I’ve made a conscious decision NOT to put up all the usual decorations and instead focus on just a few simple elements.
So while I was decorating my one tree, (last year I had three!) it made me think about the memories - and guilt that is often associated with decorating for the holidays.
Guilt, you say? How could there be any guilt involved in putting up our favorite ornaments? In reality, there is guilt - but it comes with choosing NOT to put up some of the numerous decorations that have become a tradition in our household.
Yes, I admit, I felt a little twinge of guilt when the Dickens Village (complete with carolers, a firehouse, two churches, and a skating rink) didn’t make it up on to the bookcase this season OR that there might be some of my daughter’s handmade ornaments that still remaining in the box instead of on the tree. But once I decided that the single strand of garland and two stockings were enough for my hand-carved antique mantle - it’s was actually a very freeing experience.
In fact, as I listened to some classic holiday songs (in my opinion the first thing you need to begin a decorating session) I decided to take the decorations that might normally be designated as background items and give them a starring role. Mixing it up a bit was a great way for me to feel a little more creative and inspired – and to help out those “less fortunate” holiday decorations.
In the past, I would have stressed over the idea that I didn’t do everything up to my “over the top” standards. But 2018 has been one of Bailiwick Design’s busiest years yet. I’ve been so busy with my clients’ homes that I have barely scratched the surface of my own Holiday To-Do List. But for now, I am going to try very hard to appreciate all the things I have accomplished this past year and focus on the most important part of this Christmas season - my faith and special time with family and friends.
And while next year I may be back to my usual self, for now, I am going to enjoy just a few simple touches of holiday cheer. I will try not to feel guilty about those ornaments still in the box. They’ll get their turn next year - or the year after. And perhaps I will appreciate them more after this long absence. I know that my house will soon be filled with the love and laughter of visiting family and friends and that is enough decoration for me!
Wishing you and yours a relaxing holiday season - and remember if it’s just a “little Christmas” that you need right now-that’s okay, too!
PS Unfortunately this decorating release doesn’t cover the seasonal “cookie-guilt” - Right now the macaroons are calling my name from the freezer where I have tried to hide them. But we can work on that issue next year ;)