Seven years ago, I hit a holiday low. Our first son was six months old and I was dragging him around the house in a bouncy seat while I draped garlands, set up small, lighted trees, and arranged holly branches on the sideboard and china cabinet. Not content to simply gaze adoringly at me while I worked, the baby quickly grew fussy and I remember trying to jostle his chair with my foot while also winding a strand of faux fir around the front stairway railing.
Man, I wish I could get those hours back. The truth is I don’t like having a lot of stuff around. After awhile, living amidst such Christmas splendor made me feel itchy and claustrophobic, like I was being forced to wear one of those garlands. Making one’s home super-festive for the holidays just seemed like something grownups were supposed to do, particularly those who aspire to a respectable Instagram or Pinterest presence.
Well, I turned 40 this month, which, I think, grants me “too old to give a damn” privileges. I have curtailed my decorating in the years since the bouncy seat foolishness, but this season I did even less, putting out only those adornments I actually like, and can arrange quickly. These pretty much boil down to a lighted Mason jar ensemble in our family room inspired by one I saw in a West Elm catalog years ago:
Ack, you guys, I am feeling really sheepish about sharing these photos with you. I love our house but it’s nothing like the places I usually write about or drool over on social media. However, in my advanced age, I am trying to lose some of my old inhibitions!
Anyway, how do you handle holiday decorating? Do you go all out or take a pared-down approach? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And however and wherever you’re celebrating this year, I hope it’s beautiful.
Cover photo submitted by Julie Clark