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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Self-professed Control-freak of Design Relinquished Holiday Decorating Responsibilities to Her Kids, Husband & Mom

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas just come too close together for me these days. It seems like I just get everything up and it’s time to take it all down again! So, I was experiencing a little holiday decorating burnout.

And it's a very time intensive process for me. Before the decorating actually begins, there’s sorting through all the tchotchkes that have accumulated over the years in the decoration bins - cutesy knick-knacks given to us by well-meaning friends and family, holiday artwork that the kids made and couldn’t bear to part with, plus all the little trinkets the kids receive – Christmas books, Santa-shaped Slinkies, dollar-store snow globes…and the stuffed animals...What to do with all the stuffed animals we have for each holiday! Do I really have to find places for all these things?

I just can’t set things out wherever they fit and forget about it, either. Each item must be perfectly placed. I want it to look so good that I feel the urge to stare at the beautiful accessory arrangement I’ve created every time I walk by. I want to elicit “oohs & aahs” from our house guests (despite the fact that most of our visitors are under the age of 10). Otherwise, I figure what’s the point of even decorating if it is just acting as more clutter.

I did great this Halloween & Thanksgiving. I even posted pics of some of my holiday “tablescapes” on my Facebook page for all to admire. But Christmas decorating came to a screeching halt when my back decided to "go out" rendering me helpless on the coach - and in too much pain to make critical decorating decisions.

Of course, as soon as my husband brought the bins up from the basement, the kids wanted to open them up to rediscover all of the treasures inside. And then, they want to “help” decorate the house right away. Before you know it, bubble wrap and packing paper is all over the floor, things like dollar store snow globes end up on my étagère amongst the artfully-placed year-round décor, and the tree decorating totally violates the golden design rule of proportion with large, heavy ornaments on small branches and small, delicate ornaments on the big, bulky branches.

About three-quarters of the way through, the "fun factor" must have run out. Half-empty bins, their lids and random holiday accessories were scattered between the foyer, den & living room for days. Finally, my Mom came over to help me out around the house since I was still incapacitated due to my uncooperative back. She ended up putting the "finishing touches" on the Christmas decor and cleaning up all the bins. "It's not perfect but it's done." she said, knowing how particular I am when it comes to decorating.

Now that I’m mobile again, I could spend the day rearranging everything so it elicits that “wow” reaction from our guests. But, I’ve decided that my family’s memories of decorating the house together to help Mom and their feelings of accomplishment are more important. (And honestly, I don't have the time.) Maybe I’ll even post some pics of their design work on my blog.

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