When I was younger, I used to dream of moving to the Big Apple. The theater, the art, the interesting people, the hustle and the bustle all seemed so very… romantic to me. Of course, this was before I actually knew myself and realized I wasn’t a city girl at all. Still, something about a place potentially full of weirdos like me was so very appealing to this girl stuck in Middle Tennessee (a place that has only started to grow on me once I started my journey as a homeschool mother). In theory, had I ever actually gone forward with this fantasy, I would have been so very lost. Trying to figure out where in NYC I would best fit in would have been no easy task. Probably, I would have needed a resource, perhaps something akin to this amazing Neighborhood Guide by Urban Compass would have helped me figure out which area of the city would best fit my lifestyle and personality.
As a family with rather eclectic tastes, it would have been nice to have had a resource like Urban Compass available to us eight years ago when we were house hunting. We are certainly a group of people who rarely fit in anywhere! Nothing reflects how odd we are better than our home decor. Even the holiday decorations that adorn our living space mirror how eccentric we happen to be.
Eclectic is the best word to describe our homeschooling style and I’d dare say it’s also the best word to describe our Christmas decor. From natural touches to pop culture figures, our home displays a wide-range of tastes, revealing the scope of interests represented in our household.
Just take a look.
This year we bought a new Christmas tree for our living area. Twelve years ago, when my husband and I were planning our holiday-themed wedding, we purchased two used, but matching, Christmas trees from a local thrift shop. I gave one of them to my mom and kept the other for our new home. By this year, it was in disrepair and looked terrible. Plus, if I am being honest here, I have always detested green Christmas trees and instead dreamed of having this vintage get up here (and I will some day, dang it. Just you wait and see). Hubby wasn’t down with spending this kinda cash on a Christmas tree this year, though, and he also didn’t care for this rainbow tree I went on about so it was to Walmart he traveled for a $30 white tree. He got colored lights with white wire and all was well in the world. Except it was so well, that I have not exactly wanted to put any ornaments on this tree. Some might find it hard to believe but once in a while, I believe that less is more. And the simplicity of this white tree with colored lights… I don’t want to tarnish it. My oldest son was not happy about the lack of ornaments on the tree, despite the fact that I decorated the tree he had in his hospital room four years ago when he lived there for the holidays.
Nope, this was no comfort to him at all. He’s pretty angry with me about the whole “new tree, no ornaments” endeavor. In fact, he claims that this new tree is “ruining all of our traditions.”
Did I mention we have a house full of aspies? 😉
Anyway, we had some lights leftover from the green tree so I used them here on this small table where we are keeping our plate and cup for Santa’s cookies and eggnog (and Ridiculous Chocolate) which we will serve him on Christmas Eve, despite the fact that everyone around here knows it is just a game. On top of the table, you’ll see our Trader Joe’s Advent calendars… the only Advent I’ve had time for this year what with having two children involved with a local production of Annie Jr.
Some of our decorations are ones passed down from my childhood. Growing up, we didn’t have much, and most of what we did have were things that I never would have wanted to bring into my own home. However, I am so thankful for a few items that remind me of the Christmases from my past. My good holiday memories aren’t about gifts. Gifts stressed me out so I blocked a lot of those memories. No, my best memories from the holidays are about these specific decorations. Laying on the sofa, watching the flickering of the candles as the three wise men made their journey to see the newborn king.
I was celebrating my second Christmas as a wife and I was incredibly pregnant with my first child. The outside of this candle holder wasn’t packaged safely enough and when I opened it, I discovered, to my horror, that it had been cracked. Amazingly, my husband swiftly found a replacement for $7.00 on Ebay. The lady who sold it to him was so happy to hear how she had saved his poor pregnant wife’s Christmas by replacing her favorite broken childhood decoration. Somehow, this part of the story makes it that much more special. I hope to find more of these so each of my children can have one. To me, this is how real Christmas heirlooms are created rather than through some forced farce like that creepy elf thing.
During the holidays, I also enjoy decorating with food. I love how the colors of the season evolve. In the fall, my antique bread bowl, passed down to me from my great grandfather’s mother, was adorned with oranges, yellows, and greens. Pomegranates are in season and their color make the perfect coffee table centerpiece. So simple, practical, and natural.
But I have to say that our crowning holiday decorative achievement is neither simple, practical, nor natural. In fact, it was incredibly impractical to fork over the cash this spring for this Simpsons Lego house but boy we sure have enjoyed it. To further my enjoyment, I moved it to our holiday play table and then I set about decorating it.
Look closely and you will see Christmas lights on the house made with clay and dental floss. Lego candy cane poles line the front porch while battery-operated candles give off a flickering and warm light through the windows. Each member of the Simpsons clan is wearing a fleece scarf, handmade with love by me. I needlefelted them a Christmas tree (which is surrounded by Lego Christmas gifts) and I even made a wreath out of Shrinky Dinks for their front door. This work of art is officially my new favorite holiday decoration. I can’t wait to think of new things to add. Next year I intend to decorate the inside of the house.
Thanks for joining me on this tour of our holiday decorations. I’d love to see how the way you decorate your home reflects the personalities of the people in it.