Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Accidental Decorator

I have friends and family who are major decorators. Sometimes I look at their houses, or the pictures of their houses, and I know I should do better.

But that's just not me. I rarely feel either the urge or the inspiration to decorate. Even at Christmas.
Here are my decorating photos, with explanations.

The stockings don't match. The white and blue one I got as a present from my brother Mike and his wife Lisa back in high school. I bought the green and white one to go with it, but it turned out to be a bit larger when it came in the mail. The four coordinating ones are from Walmart. They only had four patterns. And I bought the last one on Ebay for Rosalie, just so she'd have one.
If I could justify spending $250 for something we use once a year, I would buy coordinating wool striped ones like the last one. In the larger size. I like the stripes. First, because they are vaguely humorous (is that just me?) and second, because they leave no stinkin' strings to snag on every little thing you try to put in the stocking.
I got the "Peace" stocking hangers because there are five letters, which makes one for each of the seven of us once you add in the two present-shaped hangers. You wouldn't believe the contortions my kids have gone through trying to get to use the hanger that matches the first initial of their names. But A=Anika and Anderson, E=only Edith, C=Casey and Clarissa, leaving P for Papa, and E for everyone else. I told them it just has to go in order of age. (Which means NO ONE gets their letter and it's UNFAIR to everybody.)
I keep meaning to find a way to attach these all to a board that I can hook to the wall so that forgetful toddlers and unknowing babies can't keep pulling these heavy metal objects down onto their heads. But I'm not really sure how to do that. . .

Anika drew this in '04. I think it's cool. Like Pottery Barn wall art, but sentimental. (To me, I mean.) I think I stole the frame from something else, but I'm sure it was a dollar store frame in the first place. That's the kind of decorator I am.

This is a miscellany of hand me downs and dollar store items. Or garage sales. Except the candles and wreaths around the candles. I asked my non-design impaired sister Kate to take me shopping with her. I think she was amazed at how little I found that I was willing to spend money on.
Oh, and Anika made the little paper tree and present at school.
Oh, yeah, and the Weihnachts Pyramide comes from Germany, where Casey served his mission. The little vanes for the windmill part got scattered the minute I let the kids near it, so I stuck what I could find in a box for later. Actually, "later. . ." is a big part of my design philosphy.

The tree skirt was a present from another of my non-decorating impaired siblings, Wendy. I had complained that I should have bought the pretty quilted tree skirt at Gardner Village when I was there. I would never make a trip back that far just to spend money on a decoration. Anyway, this skirt is funny--it looks hideous by itself, but nice under the tree. I can never predict how something will look once it's in place. Many experiences of buyer's remorse have made me leery of buying anything.
Rosalie helps my overall decorating plan by scattering ornaments more liberally than we would do otherwise. She is also opposed to books or dvds being confined to shelves. "Let them be free!"

So don't come to my house if you want to see some heart-cheering Christmas stuff. (We're not even sure that a couple of our kids deserve presents this year.)
And I'm not kept from the true spirit of decor because I know not where to find it. (See Wendy here, and my most fantastically-self-shaming-when-compared-to friend Shelley here.) I just like to let these accidents, happy or otherwise, happen naturally. And cheaply. And without a lot of work. Yep, that's my design philosophy. What're ya gonna do.


kate said...

oh poo. your house is cheery and lovely and i think your christmas decor is perfect. accidentally or not. :)

Markie said...

Looks perfect to me. The only decorations we have are assorted nutcrackers that my mother-in-law keeps giving us. I'm not sure where she got the idea that I collect nutcracker themed iems, but I guess I do now. And Daniel got really excited when I explained the concept of decorations to him (not that we've even put out the nutcrackers yet). But, he didn't quite get the concept - he is convinced that scattering his toy cars on the floor in a semi-circular pattern is the height of Christmas chic. Every time I try to pick any of them up he protests, "But, Mom, those are my Christmas decoratings!"

Janice Lois said...
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Katie said...

ahhhh. so nice to read that as i stare at my undecorated tree and my not yet put up stockings on the counter with their sharpy written names at the top.

Mom & Dad said...


Sarah C. said...

Way to unblog, Edith. Sometimes reading blogs is as disheartening as reading braggy Christmas Cards--365 days a year! Decorations Specorations--you're still one of the most creative artists I know.
My decoration scheme is put up all the decorations that have been given to me, but not been broken. There's not much left.

victoria said...

My decorating philosophy is also based on "someday later" and "when I can justify spending any money on it" and "maybe when the kids are older, or gone" and etc. By the way, our tree skirt is a sheet. And it's not even our sheet.

Rebekah said...

AAHhhh...so refreshing. I've been checking out friends' and families' blogs and I have blogger envy. My life is so much less shiny and new than theirs. I feel better and somehow renewed by your blog. Ginkyu-u!

Star said...

Love it...you are so funny! I think your house looks lovely and filled with holiday cheer. I share your feelings about decorating, what's the point really, every time I make an effort something gets broken, smashed or drenched in cool-aid. I'm hoping one of my kids is a natural decorator so I can turn it over to them!