My desire to minimize the amount of stuff I own includes all manner of decorations. I was never one for nicknacks, seeing them only as moderately cute dust collecting things that our children would some day have to feel guilty about throwing away. So my home has plenty of surface space to decorate around the holidays. End tables, a mantel, and doorways are all adequate places to strew all sorts of festive matter. But my preference to keep my indoor space simple and uncluttered doesn’t change when holidays come around. In fact, I’ve found it all sorts of fun to simplify my decorating year round. I have been delighted by how easy and affordable it is to change the seasonal look with subtle, but aesthetically pleasing decor.
Clear glass vases can hold dried flowers during spring and summer that can be swapped out for vibrant red silk flowers in winter. Table runners are easy pieces to change with the season. Clear lights can be draped over large plants to brighten up a dreary November. Vines of holly in winter, or artificial foliage in fall, can line a mantel perfectly.
I don’t buy holiday dishes, ever. They would require extra storage space, time to take them out of storage and wash them, time to put them away, and effort to search for new pieces to replace the ones that break. I am not even tempted by the cute holiday pictures crafted onto plates and bowls. My dishes are neutral and I let the napkins, table runner, and holiday food announce the festivities. My boxes of decorations are minimal and my trips to the attic are few and far between. It brings me joy to beautify and shift my environment with ease.
Seeing Christmas lights and wreaths up well into March makes me wish the owners would give themselves permission to bring the decorating down a notch, to a level that can happen with ease, both at the start of the season, and at the end. What goes up, really should come down. Or consider skipping the holiday decorating altogether. Any visual pleasure that took place over the holidays, surely is offset by the unsightliness of Christmas decor when we’re approaching springtime. Like nail polish that stays on for far too long, chipping and unlovely, some things are better left undone to begin with.
My decorating strategy may be too sparse for some. It really is a matter of personal preference. And like clearing out a closet or a cabinet, I just can’t quite put my finger on why this simplicity feels so good to me. I feel light. I look around at the subtle sparkle of the season, and it feels like the holiday spirit has room to breath.