My plans to work on The Comedy of Errors yesterday were foiled by a spurt of cleaning and decorating energy. When that happens, I’ve learned that it pays to embrace the energy and go with it. First off, I made good on my vow to clean the bathroom, which, as you know, is one of my least favorite things to do. Done.
Then, though I normally don’t do any decorating until mid-December, I kept thinking about putting up our little tree. No matter what I did, that idea kept resurfacing. After a while, I realized that it was because I am leaving for Hartford soon and won’t be in my Christmas-decorated cottage during the week before Christmas. In essence, I am losing a week at home during the holidays. Make that two weeks, as I’ll also be gone for the week between Christmas and the New Year. (Never fear, I’ll be home for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.)
Because of all that and, I think, because we’re really starting to crave it, we want to keep things simple. No big tree for the second year in a row. Just the funky little white tree that I got at Michael’s many years ago.
I stood in the living room and boom! I realized that we have the bistro table now. What about putting the tree on our beautiful table instead of its usual place on the industrial stool by the chimney? A quick text to Don (he was in the city yesterday) and his enthusiastic “Yes!” got me going. I dragged the tree from the closet under the stairs, cleared the bistro table, and went to work. The tree was put together, lights were strung and I went with a new idea for the tree skirt, rather than the pretty little pastel-y print skirt I already had: a remnant of vintage bark cloth from my stash.
I put Pandora on, brought my mini Bose speaker downstairs and played Christmas music while I played with the bark cloth.
I wanted a splash of color and I got it. I really, really love it.
Instead of using the minuscule little pink ornaments I’ve used in other years, I decided to dig our smaller Shiny Brites out of their storage bin in the shed because, darn it, I missed them! That lead me to the Christmas wreath I also store in the shed. It’s now on the front door.
Back to the tree:
There it is mid-afternoon yesterday. I’m in love. Doesn’t it look great on the table? I added the Cardinal Snow Globe because, really, what could be more perfect?
Then I grabbed the outdoor lights and looped them between the posts on the porch, as we do every year. Then I cleaned like a madwoman. I wanted to surprise Don because he would be coming home after dark and I wanted him to see the lights on the porch as he pulled into the driveway and the lights on the little tree sparkling in the window.
It worked. He was surprised and delighted, if I do say so myself.
More and more, we seem to be on the path to simplifying Christmas and all the decorations and hoopla. Now, if we had grandchildren, we might be inclined to do more. But maybe not. I’ve never been a blogger who wants to decorate the house the day after Thanksgiving so I can do the House Tour thing. I like looking at those tours (a wee bit), but truly, the holiday for us is about quiet joy and as little stress as possible.
This idea of simplifying Christmas started a few years back when Don was working in San Diego and couldn’t be home for Christmas. I didn’t want to wrestle with a big tree, so I decided to only use the small tree. That, and the outside lights, and I was done.
It was liberating.
That put the thought in my head. Don already had it – he’s all for making it simple.
I am increasingly okay with not having a big tree, especially since I added the Shiny Brites to the mix this year.
This is all I need. The tree, a wreath on the door, and shiny white lights on the porch.
Oh, and Don, of course.