~Christmas Coup~

CD cover

CD cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scrooge and the Grinch are mounting a coup to capture my Christmas spirit. I am about to set the tree up and decorate the house, but disturbingly I keep thinking: “What you get out you will have to put away.” Never before has this has been something I have considered prior to decorating every little nook and cranny in my house. Am I suddenly becoming an adherent of “less is more”?

I love the Christmas season and all that it entails. I love over-the-top decorations, the bright and sparkly, the excessively rich food, the holly jolly guy, and human size crèches. Greenery? I can’t get enough of it. Pine cones dipped in glue then sparkles? Bring them on. Piles of presents—I am not one to let commercialism get in the way of my consumerism. But, that little voice in the background is plaguing me as it whispers: “What you get out you will have to put away.”

Has anyone else had this thought? I have a lot of tiny decorations that just may stay packed this year. Their larger counterparts will be brought out instead, with a nod to the fact that they will be easier to dust. Am I getting lazier? I don’t think so—let’s call it wiser. They say that “hindsight is 20/20”—I am thinking that a little foresight might make hindsight a little easier to take.

For instance, the book, “Old Fashioned Christmas Favourites” written by my old friends Vickie and JoAnn, suggests that, “A Christmas tree without popcorn and cranberry strings just isn’t a Christmas tree.” Maybe—but then they go on to say that, “For a very special effect, throw popcorn on your Christmas tree. This gives the look of freshly fallen snow.” Really? Throw popcorn on my tree? I think not. I can just imagine having to clean it up every time Kitty Bob, our stupid lovely cat climbs up the inner branches of the tree. When he does that I am stressed out (to the max).  Adding insult to injury would be having to constantly pick up stray pieces of popcorn.

The companion question to the statement “What you get out you will have to put away” is “do I really want to do that?” The answers with regard to throwing popcorn on my tree are a resounding “no”, “not ever”, “what, are you crazy?” While the act of actually throwing popcorn onto my tree does appeal to me, I am using my newly found foresight to predict that it will just cause more work in the long run.

Here is a list of some other things I will not be doing this year:

1. Hot gluing gumdrops all over the surface of a wreath shaped Styrofoam form that I have wrapped in fabric—nope you will not find me doing this.

2. Fashioning paper serving cones to serve sweet and salty nuts, which I have just finished making in my kitchen.

3. Making felt stemware coasters for my wine glasses to protect my table. That is what the tablecloth is for.

4. Shredding carrots and putting them on my front lawn for Rudolph and his reindeer friends. (I cannot say for certain though that I would not have done this fifteen years ago when the boys were little—but at 21 and 26 I doubt they will be thrilled by this little activity.)

5. Tie a Christmas bandana around my stupid wonderful cat’s neck. Somebody bought the cat a sweater one year and he looked askance at us when we tried to put it on him, as if to say “Can’t you see I have a fur coat?” (Okay, I read that one somewhere, but I thought it was funny). I will, however, endeavour to get a festive red collar with a bell, so I can hear him when he climbs the Christmas tree.

Oh, well, the heck with foresight. I will probably decorate the house to the nines and worry about taking all the stuff down in mid-January. That is six weeks away—who plans that far ahead? Just for the record, I always plan to take the decorations down the day after New Year’s, but it always stretches out to mid-January. Then when I finally have my stuff put away, I look with a critical eye at all those who have not taken theirs down yet. Hypocritical? Yes. But satisfying.

So, will you practice foresight or hindsight this Christmas?

Christmas Wreath

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  1. Truthfully, I am tempted to not bother decorating for Christmas this year, especially knowing that we are moving in January. At this point, the Christmas decorations are the one and only thing that is already packed. But I probably won’t be able to get away with that decision.

    • you won’t get away with it, I guarantee–I did not know you were moving–where to? Just put a few big things out and a tree–then you’ll have it covered or dress your husband up as Santa and sit him in a corner

      • He is usually propped and sleeping nicely in a corner of an evening, so that wouldnt be much of a stretch. In January we get to move our in-laws into a smaller house (directly across the road from us) and move into the farmhouse (right beside us) and my brother in his wife are going to be tenants in our house. We like to keep family close by, apparently.

      • I love that apparently (you are not sounding too convinced) though I would give my eyeteeth if my parents were still alive–
        Are you looking forward to the move?

      • I am looking forward to living on the farm, but not all of the moves – those I am dreading.

      • I certainly do not blame you

  2. I just finished putting up my tree ten minutes ago and I, too, left some of my Christmas ornaments in the boxes. No matter how much they stared at me with those woeful eyes (my decorations all seem to be things with eyes), I held firm to my resolve to also stick to the “less is more” rule. I would love, just once, to achieve a “sophisticated Christmas decor,” but that is hard to do with a bunch of things with eyes. The one benefit is that things with eyes tend to get picked up a lot–hence, they rarely get dusty.

    • you are so funny–some of my decorations look at me with big doe eyes too–I used to dream about sophistocated decor–actually this year I bought these really cool black glossy balls with gold embossing and sparkles–I just love them–they go with nothing, but I do not care

  3. My decorations were purged for me several years ago when they fell victim to a house fire. That Christmas everyone gave me ornaments because they knew I didn’t have my stash any more. Most I didn’t like, they weren’t just me. So a few years later, I donated all the ones I didn’t like and bought some cheap balls at the dollar store and used just those on my tree, little by little a few more ornaments entered the mix until I had quite a few again, then two years ago when I pulled out my ornaments it was in the middle of decluttering my last home and most were donated again, now I have a few I like to bring out and that’s it.

    I’m famous for putting my decorations up usually around Dec first, then leaving them up till close to the end of January out of laziness. Not sure what this year will bring as I am decorating a completely different way from years past, but I am late getting them out already.

    • I wanted everything up by now too but if we keep them up until mid or late January we are going to get to enjoy them
      Having a fire must have been so traumatic–I cannot imagine–
      Like you, I think it is important to like the decorations we put up

  4. I have it pretty easy…my house is only 650 square feet so it really takes no time to decorate or tear it down after the holidays. Perhaps you go gangbusters on the decorating and come up with a systematic tear down – a little bit every couple of days so it’s not so overwhelming. (And then there are days in between to sit and enjoy some wine!!) 🙂

    • hey, I like the wine part–maybe I will have a glass and it will make everything look perfect
      taking down the decor is one of my least favourte things–I do not go as gangbusters as I used to–but if one of the kids notices something I did not put out, I will usually go find it and put it out for them

  5. No decorations this year. Spending Christmas and New Year with our son in New York. Both he and the Rockefeller Centre will have enough decorations, without my meagre contribution. 🙂

    • how very cool-Christmas in New York–I have been to New York State (went to school with some kids from Rochester about a hundred years ago) but never the Big City–enjoy yourselves!

      • LOL @ 100 years ago. We spent Christmas there 3 years ago. It was amazing, with the whole American family staying at our son’s house….twenty of us. 😀

      • sounds like fun–messy noisy fun

  6. What! No carrots in the front yard? Have you lost your mind? 😉

  7. I really don’t feel like decorating this year either! I’m glad to find that I’m not alone. Like you, though, I will surely break down and bring out at least some of the many, many decorations that we’ve accumulated over the years.

    • we will get hit with the Christmas spirit stick soon I imagine–and what we don’t put out this year will be new for next year

  8. I have always wanted one of those Christmas trees that I once saw in a cartoon… it opens like an umbrella and is fully decorated… Christmas over? Close the umbrella and put it away….I don’t think it really exists.
    But a girl can dream…

    • we should invent one–you and me–we could use an extra million or two by making so many women’s dream come true

  9. I took the “less is more” approach this year. Some odds and ends, the tree and the stockings. Most stuff stayed in the boxes. By the time we fill the room with food and people, all that extra stuff will just be in the way!

    • that is the way to look at it–and it is the food and people that are the most important thing at this time of year

  10. I’ve become more of a Scrooge/Grinch over the past several years as well—I think, “What’s the point in putting this out, I’ll just have to pack it up again.” So I’ve been much more judicious in my Christmas decorating. I end up being glad for that when it comes time to put everything away. 🙂

    • and you know, our houses probably look better with a little less stuff–I hate putting the stuff away–makes me sad

  11. i find good incentive is to have a putting away party ~ some adult beverage{s} and favorite non-Christmas music

  12. I definitely put up less decorations last year and we bought a smaller tree, will probably do the same this year, so yes, many decorations will stay in the box, but then there is only the 2 of us!!

    • we are a little more grown up around here too–so some of the stuff we used to put out no longer needs to see the light of day

  13. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that as I get older I feel like I’ve just gotten everything put away and it’s time to take it out again!

    I think I live in a time warp. When we were kids summer vacation felt like 6 months and the countdown to Christmas was endless. Now it seems there’s a week of summer and then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas fall on consecutive weekends.

    I like Ruth’s idea. I think it was Dr. Seuss that first introduced the fold up umbrella tree- maybe the Grinch?

    • I know–I thought summer would never end and that Christmas would never get here–now I am like you and have to stay awake and aware or it is gone before I am ready. I like Ruth’s idea too–we are going to make them and make a million–want to join us?

  14. Christmas seems to have thrown up all over the inside of my house, but outside is another story. Two pre-lit trees to flank the door and a wreath adorning the front door. Certainly not over the top, but easy peesy lemon squeezy to take down later. 😉

  15. I recently downsized from a house to an apt so all of my Christmas things are in storage..where they will remain.. It would take hours to dig them all out so I will buy a live tree, a few light, candles and ornaments from the dollar store and call it Christmas. I am so not even stressed, I love it!!

  16. Speaking of parties (we were speaking of parties right?), me and my partner have just spent an hour, yes, an hour, practising our song for your virtual party! So I hope you’re still going ahead with that on the 15th (it was the 15th right?). I know I said I would do a bit of stand-up too, but I think I might run out of time for that, so can I just do a song? I’ll have to make sure I comment quickly when you put the post up so that people see it 🙂

    Christmas decorations – we put ours up yesterday, and I do love it, I don’t worry too much about having to take it down later, I still think it’s all worth it!

    • it is the 15th and we should give notice so people will tune in–I will let you know ahead of time–can’t wait!

  17. I know what you mean. I wonder if anyone has invented an already decorated tree. If so I will buy it!

  18. I always think those wreaths are an awful waste of gumdrops…. 😉

  19. Last year I went crazy because it was the first time in over twenty years that I didn’t work retail! I put out everything I had all over the house. This year I’m looking for that enthusiasm. My husband does all the exterior illumination like in Christmas Vacation. His part is done. Maybe this week I’ll do a little at a time. How about Christmas cards? Does anybody send those anymore?

    • I send a few but not many–but I love getting them.
      Good luck in capturing some enthusiasm–you need it cause decorating is a lot of work

  20. I think I goofed. I spent the weekend enjoying three major Christmas Craft Fairs on our artistic island and I’m more full of Christmas than the last 10 years combined. The gift ideas were sooooo beautiful, the 3 halls were decorated into magical worlds and the spirit of the people was beyond description.

    And I’ve been reminding everyone to stop putting commercialism under my nose.

    Are pieces of local art and craft commercial? I’ll go to confession! 😀

    • a little commercialism never hurt anybody–you sound like you have Christmas spirit to spare–and that is a good thing!

      • Rare, too! 😀

  21. This will be the first year in a long time that there will be no decorations for us. We’re too busy moving backward and forward from one house to another and trying to get the old place up and running, But just wait until next year when my house is finished – woo hoo – it’ll be a blast! 😀

    • you will have two years of decorating built up next year–good luck with all your backwards and forwards

  22. Funny but I kinda said to my husband …maybe we shouldn’t put up the ‘little’ city this year…Just the tree and nativity scene..But he said no way…I love it….so we will have the little city with allllll the little buildings and the little people and little trees etc etc…And once it’s up I’ll love it too…Diane

    • you will – I often wonder why I don’t start decorating in September for Christmas, because I love some of the stuff so well–isn’t it nice your husband cares so much

  23. I don’t go overboard – although – I’d like to. I just don’t want to invest the time in the clean-up. I do always put up the tree & the nativity. ANd – the leg-lamp – of course. Other than that – Not much else. Too busy with work & kids. That’s my excuse & I’m sticking to it 😉

  24. Living in an RV leaves very little room for decorations. My clean-up will be very easy this year. 🙂

  25. I heard Scrooge come out of my mouth when I asked my teens whether we should get a tree this year and when they looked in horror and said “yes” (in a manner that was more like, “how could we not?!”) these words next came out of my mouth: “well, just remember that if decorations come out, everyone helps put decorations away.” (thoughts of “holiday decor presented by mom” floating through . . .) I have enjoyed simplifying a bit over the past couple years and asking myself — do I really like and enjoy seeing this decoration out, or am I putting it out simply because it’s in the Christmas decorations box. Slowly trying to give away/throw away those things none of us truly enjoy seeing out. ~ Kat

    • I think thoughful Christmas decorating gives us what we want without putting out a bunch of stuff just because–I am still having trouble getting rid of my old stuff I no longer put out–I try every year, little by little, to cull some of the things that have no particular memories

      • I’m also trying to cull – but it is so hard! 🙂

      • it is – I am doing that today!

      • Our things are still in the attic but they’ll have to come out soon and I will have to face the problem! Last year I just didn’t use them but did pack them all away again! 🙂

      • mine are not organized at all – at least yours are separte from the stuff you want

  26. This is funny, yours is the third post I’ve read today where having to put away afterwards the Christmas decorations you put up is part of the post. Interesting that. Hmmm. I enjoyed your post – very entertaining! :), I hope you have just the right amount of decor you want and an excellent amount of fun this year! Penny 🙂

  27. Ha ha ha, I love the idea of throwing popcorn over my tree, but nooooo, I definitely won’t be doing it! Lol


  28. I’m with you here! It was last year that we decided to do less – mainly I think because it was just the two of us doing the decorating for the first time, family arriving once it was all done – and, crucially, being gone again before it is all put away! This year will be the same, I think.

    We did start the old ‘grated carrot’ for Father Christmas’ reindeer again as Jake is now old enough to be excited – and his parents even more so! And the soaking of pennies in coke to make them look new to drop on the stairs as if they’ve just dropped out of FC’s pocket. (What must that stuff do to people’s insides if it can eat meat and dissolve copper?!)

    Happy days! 🙂

    • I don’t have anyone around that will be excited about grated carrots–never heard of the penny tradition–I quite like it

  29. Every year I buy more and more Christmas decor and I don’t mind the putting it away so much as throwing it away. I feel guilty sometimes that my Christmas is excessive when there are people who go without in more ways than just Christmas. I try to keep this in mind when I get the impulse to buy and it’s helped to curb my Christmas spending. So I guess that makes me foresight. Great post!

    • Foresight is good–I am decorating right now–and less is more is going to be my philosophy this year–but so far it looks good–though my tree is heavy laden, I am going to lay off some of the other decorating–glad you are making decisions based on awareness–it is hard this time of year

      • Trying to anyways, I am a sucker when it comes to lights! You should post some pictures of you’re tree, it sounds lovely!

      • if I can figure out how to do it

  30. Since it appears I am all alone this year, there will be no tree, no decorations, no fake snow, no lights, no joy. Yup, this year I’m a Grinch. But your post made me laugh!

    • I am glad I made you laugh–join me for Christmas virtually–we will make merry while I wait for the roast to cook

      • I’ll bring the roasted tofu(I’m a veg) but what side dish or dessert should I bring? Thank you, I’ll be counting on my internet family for support during this lonely time!

      • any kind of dessert would be wonderful–thanks for offering!

  31. oh the thrown popcorn is the perfect laugh for a monday. just what you want more mess when you’re cooking more and more often. i have left the little things in the chest the last few years. i tell myself its because my daughter was horrified by all the santas everwhere for years. so i do it for her – but really i do it for me. although there are still santa’s everywhere, they tend to be the ones i don’t mind putting away. there’s a new memory attached to each one that i wrap in tissue paper and put back in the chest until next year.

    • so you agree with me about the popcorn–I don’t need to create any more mess–I have enough already
      I find I do not mind putting the precious memories away as you know how delighted you will be when you get to put them out again next year

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