There was a time when my Christmas tree was a small, plastic model I purchased at Woolworth's in the 1970s. Money was tight so it was the best I could do. I adorned it with red Satin balls and listened to Christmas music on my clock radio. It's what's behind my passion for collecting and maybe a little over the top decorating.
Over the past fifteen years of picking I've devoted a lot of time to scavenging for Christmas decorations. Sometimes I was lucky and scored a bunch of packed boxes from an attic; other times it was a lone ornament, but bought it anyway and kept adding to my collection (I have a basement for storage, thankfully). That all led to putting up two vintage aluminum trees, filling my home with vintage holiday decor on every shelf, making my sunroom a Christmas winter wonderland and hosting holiday parties.
It was all too much! The season was a whir of activity but I never got to really appreciate it or the decorations I prized. Then it was time to pack them up and put them all away in the lonely cold month of January.
Forget decking the halls. The only thing I wanted to deck was myself.
I ironically longed for the simplicity of and spirit behind my faux Charlie Brown-esque tree from my childhood.
I've since resolved to scale things back. This year I've assembled and decorated one tree, which is a seven foot Evergleam Pom Pom that comes in a box with 121 sleeved branches that I bought at an estate sale for $3 some years ago. (That was a really cool sale. The basement, trashed but the cowboy and girl silhouettes on the walls and window treatments still intact, had been transformed to a square dance hall in the 1950s and 60s. I thought that must have been a great way to exercise indoors during the long Maine winters.)
I placed a handful of decorations on my mantle. And that's it. I didn't knock myself out to get it all done immediately, relaxed while I assembled it, and felt very grateful for all that I have. I enjoyed a sparkling water in my favorite etched glass.
My guinea pig, Tiny Tim aka Timmy, who I fostered and adopted two years ago, knows what Christmas is really all about!
I've been going to Church and plan to continue through the holidays. I'll be focusing on the friends and family who matter to me. Something I won't be cutting back on?
Cooking and BAKING.
Holiday recipes are coming!