Low Key Christmas Decorating
In the spirit of our low key Christmas, I’m keeping the Christmas decorations around the house pretty low key this year too. Even though we won’t have a big tree or lights outside, I’m still bringing out the things that mean the most to me at Christmas time. All year long, I like to decorate and surround myself with objects of meaning or interest and Christmas is no exception. I don’t tend to decorate for other holidays, though we have a few candle holders for Halloween and Thanksgiving, so Christmas is really the only holiday where I switch up our regular house decor.
I’m super allergic to Christmas trees so we can’t have any real greens around, so our door wreath and mantel pine are all fake, but I love using Christmas greens to decorate, so I’m pretty happy that the fake versions look just as nice!
At this point, with the exception of the front door, this is the only Christmas decor in the house. This weekend when we have Little Man, we’ll decorate a small tree, but won’t be putting out the big 6 footer because it involves moving a lot of furniture and making a fuss that honestly, I just don’t have in me this year. It’s not that I’m a Grinch, but I’m trying to enjoy the holiday season in the way I want, and moving around our stuff and having a large tree in our small house for only a few weeks is not my idea of a low key, relaxing holiday.
I’m very proud of our mantel decor because almost all the pieces displayed have some meaning, are heirloom/family pieces, or were gifts from loved ones. The wooden initial snowflakes on our stockings were made by my talented brother and sister in law. The sign in the plant was something my Dad loved. The ceramic nativity scene on the top shelf of the built in bookshelves was at my grandma’s house until she moved.
Even the non-Christmas items have important connections to family or moments in time. The large plant behind the nativity is something my Dad kept alive in many different forms for decades and many cuttings, all from a plant my brother brought home when he was in elementary school. The silver tool chest on the first shelf belonged to my grandfather and when we were cleaning out my Grandma’s basement, Q thought it was really cool. Even the books are chosen with care to represent our interests as a family, subjects I love, or well-loved books like Little Women. Even the “K” letter has a story– it’s an original metal letter from an old movie theater marquee sign!
As I strategically chose items from the box of decorations this year, it only saddened me a bit that some of the items will remain in the box this year because there are only a few things that are newly purchased. I chose to put out the pieces that resonated with me and our family at this moment in time, and many of them are connections to my father. Even though he often complained the most about moving his plants and furniture around to fit the large tree in the living room, he hated leaving special ornaments in the box each year, thinking they’d feel left out or like the misfit toys from the Rudolph Christmas movie. I know that some day, maybe even next year, our Christmas celebrations may not be as low key or we may live in a bigger place to accommodate more decorations. I know our stockings will change as I want to make the three of us our own embroidered or needlepoint stockings, just like my mother did for my brother and I ( it will likely take me all year to do one!) As our family and traditions grow, so will our decorations!
Whatever holiday you celebrate and however over the top or understated your decorations are, I hope you enjoy your home in a festive way that makes your heart happy.