The day was charged with excitement. I was seven years old…or maybe eight.
Mama, Gramma, my sister Debra and I, sat in a fancy restaurant, The Magnolia Room. The restaurant was tucked away inside Rich’s department store, back-in-the-day before giant food courts.
We’d spent the morning shopping, or at least Mama and Gramma shopped. Deb and I walked through the store, taking in all those Christmas decorations. It’s puzzling how a few lights and some wreaths can wiggle their way into the very heart of a child and ignite an explosion of joy.
It was that joy that fueled my barely contained excitement in the fancy restaurant.
Joy over department store decorations and giddy anticipation over what waited for us when we got home. My dad was, at that very moment, putting big colorful lights on our freshly cut pine. Tonight was the night we decorated our Christmas tree. My favorite night of the year.
Like a seed planted in fertile soil, the joy of Christmas decorating took root in my childhood heart. Now, forty-something years later, a few lights or a wreath with a bow, gives me that same explosion of joy as when I was a little girl.
If you read the first chapter in this series (HERE), you might have already asked yourself : why do I celebrate in November and December?
The answer to that question is key because, if we pay attention, the answer can help guide all of our merry making during the holidays. Including our decorating.
Because friends…we can’t do it all.
An evening spent with my family decorating the tree, gives me some good memory making with the Littles. So that choice lines up with my answer to the question.
But spending a couple of Saturdays stringing lights on the outside of my house doesn’t line up with why I celebrate. I’d rather spend that time doing something fun with family and friends.
Does that make sense?
What about you…do you enjoy going all out with your decorating or is the process a burden to you?
Think this through now…
It might be that putting up that second tree is what really stresses you out. This year, why not skip the second tree?
For me, decorating for Christmas is a way to create a warm and celebratory ambiance in our home, in honor of the birth of Christ. Also, I hope to foster an atmosphere where good memories can be made with my family and friends. Decorating our home is just a means to an end, not the main goal.
(I should also say that I decorate because I love (almost) everything about decorating for Christmas! (and for every other season!) It’s a creative outlet for me. I probably should have been a window dresser :))
But you have to do what’s best for you and your family.
If spending an hour on Pinterest looking at Christmas decorations makes you feel stressed out or worse, makes you feel “less-than” …don’t do it.
If you feel peaceful about hanging a wreath on your front door and not doing one more thing…then please follow your peace sweet friend. Don’t let me or anyone make you feel like you need to do more than you’re comfortable with.
But what if you want to go all out with your decorating but don’t have a budget for it?
When our kids were younger and we didn’t have a lot of money, we improvised. Literally, our decorations were homemade gingerbread men cookies and strings of popcorn and cranberries. By the end of the season, the kids would have snacked on most of our ornaments! And I’m not joking…I thought it was kinda fun having a tree that my Littles could use as a snack machine!
Back then we didn’t light up the outside of the house, just an evergreen wreath with a red bow on the front door. And that was enough to give me butterflies every single time I pulled into the driveway, because that wreath said: Welcome Home-it’s Christmas!
You don’t have to have a lot of money to decorate your home for Christmas.
So if you’re in a place where money is a little tight or extra time for big decorating projects is nonexistent …that’s okay.
I’ve been right where you are.
Try using budget friendly things like mason jars..
There’s nothing that says Merry & Bright like mason jars with tiny lights tucked inside…
Maybe keep a bowl of oranges on the counter. (I used to get an orange in my stocking…did you?)
Or one of my favorite things…tiny holly wreaths hanging on a long strand of ribbon. This is a quick and easy way to add Christmas cheer to any room…
And stay tuned, over the coming weeks, I’m going to be showing some of my favorite quick and easy Christmas decorating ideas…just in case you want to save time, money and energy for merry making with family and friends.
~ If you have a minute, I’d love to hear your thoughts on decorating for Christmas~
Sending love my friends xo