A Simple Christmastime

My brother and I, 1994

While flipping through a Christmas décor inspiration magazine at the grocery store checkout line, I came across a home feature that proclaimed to have decorated with the goal of achieving extravagance and formality. Extravagance and formality are two manners from which I never operate, preferring instead that of simple authenticity. My family’s Christmas tree always features ornaments that we as kids made in kindergarten, stuffed next to sentimental ornaments picked up along the way of life. Suffice it to say that pipe cleaners were not hanging from the featured tree in this magazine.

As I checked out, traveled home, and unloaded the groceries I obsessed over this editorial. The concept of an extravagantly formal Christmas, and overall home, was just so foreign to me. You know that I keep things small and simple, and some of that is by circumstance. But seeing this magazine made me realize that more than circumstance, my style of simplicity isn’t a choice, it’s innate. I like wood and soft colors; I like mismatched, cozy corners.

When it comes to decorating, especially at Christmas time, my motto is always less is more. I am not crafty, nor do I have a decorator’s touch. Combined with my inclination toward perfectionism, decorating a Christmas tree can feel a bit like mental torture, and I proceed to spend the entire month of December rearranging my rearrangements. It’s both extraordinarily annoying and funny, because in the end I know that the placement of the blue ornament doesn’t make that much of a difference, but I can’t help moving it anyway. (Does anyone else struggle with this, too?!) For this reason alone, the less items I have to think about rearranging the better, ha!

Still, I like to get into the Christmas spirit with holiday décor! I pack a small, but mighty, punch in these ways:

  • Wrap ribbon around the Christmas tree: The ribbon really fills in the fake tree gaps nicely :). I purchased two rolls of 2.5″ thick ribbon from Walgreens, and they were inexpensive and beautiful. Try pairing a patterned or sparkling ribbon with a solid color. See their selection here.

  • Hang beautiful stockings: I splurged on styled stockings during the after-Christmas sale at Pottery Barn Kids. Waiting until after Christmas to purchase meant that I didn’t get the top pick of stocking designs, but I also didn’t have to pay top dollar. I still love what we ended up with because of the cohesive look!

  • Display photos: With the help of a small art easel, I set out all of my son’s Santa photos, easily changing the featured photo from one day to the next. I got this idea from my mom, who has great Santa pictures (like the gem above :)) sitting out for all to enjoy. If you don’t have Santa pictures, any special holiday photos or artwork would be a fun nod to the history of your family and the traditions from which you come.

Happy decorating for a happy holiday, friends!

2 thoughts on “A Simple Christmastime

  1. 🎄1994-it’s amazing 26 years have past! 🎄
    Your picture captured a moment of deep thought ( is my brother blowing my wish list?)and fear!
    I actually enjoy rearranging the ornaments on our tree, something about holding a precious memory a few times a year is comforting.
    However we choose to decorate should be joyful and not stressful..
    Happy Holidays 🎁


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