Sunday, December 4, 2011

Keeping it simple

December is here, and the holiday season is well underway....except at my house.

I haven't done one single bit of decorating at this point. I keep meaning to dig through the closet and pull out a few items to make the house look festive, but I haven't had very much motivation to do so. We're also on the fence about putting up a tree this year. We don't own a fake one, and a real one just seems like a lot of trouble. Last year I was trying to straighten our tree,a large Frasier Fir that kept leaning at odd angles as it sucked up water, and it fell over--breaking several glass ornaments and spilling about a gallon of water on the carpet. I was alone at home and had to call a neighbor to come help me get it upright again. One of us had to hold it up and the other had to re-screw the pins in the trunk to keep it standing. Then there was the water, needles, and broken glass to get out of the carpet! Needless to say, a live tree doesn't seem quite so appealing this year!

I am trying to decide if I should buy a small fake prelit tree, possibly just a table-top size. Something that could be easily decorated and easily taken down, with only a handful of ornaments on it. I was very fortunate last year when the tree fell that none of our most cherished ornaments were broken, but I did lose several cut glass icicles that I have been collecting for years. I'm thinking it would be nice to have a small, easy, pretty little fake tree with decorations that I wouldn't have to worry about. The ornaments that have strong sentimental value could remain packed away except on years when we have a tree worthy of displaying them.

I will almost certainly put out some holiday candles, and will decorate the mantle with sprays of holly (we have a holly tree in our backyard) but that may end up being the extent of our decorations. GB and I have been discussing having a very low key holiday this year. We have family members that are struggling financially (unemployment, health problems, etc) and we've decided to approach them about not exchanging gifts this year. We would like to find ways to spend time together instead, like sharing festive meals and driving around looking at decorations. We don't need presents to unwrap to enjoy spending time with our families, and we don't want anyone trying to spend money they can't afford to buy us gifts.

We'll see how these conversations go! Hopefully we'll be making the season easier on some of our loved ones.


  1. We strive to keep things as simple as possible around our house (thought I 'd be happy with just a table top tree, hubby and my daughter (15 yrs old) aren't ready for that yet - after decades of growing up with family stress at holidays, I was determined to make things unstressful and enjoyable for our daughter. For the extended family (brother and 2 sisters) we visit and bring a gift for their kids - but we agreed years ago to stop exchanging for the adults - it was just getting to be too much - and being the oldest I grew up feeling obligated to make sure they all had a nice xmas when they young since I was the "adult" at 17 yrs old and working I provided xmas for years - but that was over 30 yrs ago and I don't need to take care of them (even though they don't work and have tons of issues)

  2. When I was living on my own, I simply got some fir branches and put them on the table, together with some homemade decoration and a few candles. The BF insists on having a tree, but as long as he does all the work...