December 3, 2010 by Ellen V
This time of year really leaves me in a predicament when it comes to decorating.
On the one hand, I despise the way our culture convinces us to buy, buy, buy right now. I am not opposed to giving small, meaningful gifts, but I am opposed to a huge list of people for whom I have to buy presents. I don’t need (or even want) 17 boxes of Christmas decorations I just must lug up from the basement each year. Liturgically, the season is a time of anticipation for Christmas which hasn’t come yet anyway.
Of course, I also want my home to sparkle and glow the way all the very best homes do at this time of year. I want to feel invited and warm when I walk into my home, especially when it gets dark at 4:00 in the afternoon! I want to put the magic spell of Christmas into my home.
So what’s a girl to do?
With Eric’s blessing (and help!) I’ve decided to err on the side of under-doing-it, limit our stash of Christmas decor to one large box, and invest in some beautiful Sendik’s wreaths to hang on our front door and to highlight our Advent wreath inside. While we were visiting them for Thanksgiving, my parents gave me a beautiful red Amaryllis that, with any luck, will bloom right around Christmas time. I have a small box of the most-special ornaments I’ve collected since childhood, but they’ll stay in the basement until the year we invest in a tree. I did arrange the few other seasonal decorations I own around our home, which helps us feel in the spirit. And I’m still planning to use my go-to statement piece (the big, clear-glass hurricane) if I can find just the right way to stuff it!
The plan is not perfect, but it meets at least a few goals:
- New stuff is compostable, energy-efficient, and/or long-lasting, and
- Non-compostable decor is limited to one box and contains beautiful, meaningful items.
The only thing missing is a big, gorgeous crèche that we could slowly fill with figures from the nativity as Christmas nears, but I have yet to find one that I love and fits in my price range. Soon and very soon!