Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday decorating.


Do you do it? How much? Where? What? How much is too much? 


We're lucky if we get a tree up. Some people deck the halls with everything they managed to find at Z Gallerie. 

Let me know your thoughts on this. 

And let's all agree to ban that damn Pottery Barn reindeer from our homes. 

48 comments:

skye said...

haha. wait, whats so wrong with the little stick reindeer. i secretly want one.

amymezzell said...

I am all about buying a tree and putting it up to get me into the Christmas spirit, but farther than that, not much. The people who have every single room decorated make me want to puke. Plus, tons of [cheesy] decorations cost more than it's worth to me for the time it takes to put it all out and the space it takes to store it. Oh, and PLEASE stop decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving! They should just start selling those big inflatable yard things made in the shape of a turkey wearing a Santa hat.

thevintagechair said...

we definitely decorate, but we do it tastefully which is more than I can say for some homes around here... We do plain white lights, we do a tree,and wreaths in the windows. We don't really keep a budget for it, we just know when to stop. Most of our decorating is done inside anyway. I also refuse to put them up before Thanksgiving.

thevintagechair said...

p.s. I'm tired of the stick reindeer too. Kirkland's made a really hideous knock-off of it this year. depressing.

the sweet life with olives said...

I love it but I'm not very good. Only since having children have I started doing the min. possible, the tree. This year for the first time, and totally egged on my 4 year old daughter, I bought our first random decoration: a santa claus in a sled with gifts and snow. remains to be seen if we can carry it off without being tacky... I have my doubts! the best parts of the holidays for me are the smells and music!

Tara.Fields said...

Even tacky, over-the-top exterior decorations give me a little boost so long as it seems like it was done with honest enthusiasm. Would I do it? No, but it cheers me to see others enjoying themselves that way.

Vivien said...

I don't do shit in my condo except for a few candles. I'm too busy. Or is it too lazy.

My SO has kids. His place has the tree and tacky decorations.

The first year we were together I found a "family" ornament on his tree with cartoon clay figures of the family including is ex-wife, names painted on the bottom. WTF? He said it was to give his kids a sense of family during the holidays. As if they haven't figured out their parents are divorced. PLEASE!

Fuck that! He hung it on the tree again year #2 of our relationship. I let it stay on the tree that season and didn't utter a peep, but then I pulled a "Christmas Story - It's a Major Award" on that fucking ornament when it went into the storage box.

Oops! It broke! How could that have happened?! I'm so sorry!

Decorina said...

Yes, some people just go crazy. And I'm with the poster that likes to see people enjoying themselves. But those inflatable do dads are just too much (I'm talking to you - the people down the street from me who bought 8 of them).

We have a tree that is put up after Thanksgiving. Well, I have a Halloween tree too - of the black twisty variety that is up from October 15th through Halloween and Day of the Dead and then is put away. I only want to see the Xmas stuff after turkey day.

Costco had the Xmas stuff out before Halloween. That's just desperate I think.

Julia said...

We put up our tree, but with white lights only. Don't get me started on multi-colored Christmas tree lights, yuck. Some silver hooks over the bookcase to hang stockings on... Bowls/vases full of glass ball ornaments... And Department 56 village houses because someday our kids will like them.

We do red and silver only... you get in trouble when you start mixing Santas with snowmen, etc. And no Pottery Barn reindeer. Nothing made out of felt either, preferably.

Anonymous said...

I for one hate decorating, I don't get the idea of "sprucing" up my shit hole apartment, when I already know the inevitable: me outside smoking a cigarette because I can't stand my family.

Those inflatable snow globe-esque thingies that everyone with a small yard seems to have gots to go. They anger me, and every year I contemplate popping one of their inflatables..

Is it just me or does the holidays brign out the bitch in anyone else?

Anonymous said...

I may have popped a neighbor's yard snow globes in the middle of the night. They had two. That's two too many. Also, we had had a lot to drink that evening.

CashmereLibrarian said...

Well, you've got my support on the reindeer ban.
I personally hate the mess, but my husband is very festive and insists on a tree, decorating...et cetera.
I DO like the food and, of course, the gifts :-)
Oh, and I admit to being sort of intrigued by those enormous outdoor snow globes they sell at Lowe's.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, it's not the end of the world if your neighbors hang up some colored Christmas lights. Embrace the tackiness of the season and I promise you will have a better time.

Anonymous said...

No more tiresome Greek-key ribbon. Move on!

Anonymous said...

The tacky stuff bothers me the least; in fact, I like it. Like some of the other commenters, I find it cheering.

It's the dead-serious tasteful stuff that wears out its welcome fastest.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Stockings and a tree. Maybe an amarylis. We don't have room to store a zillion themed chotzkes, but a decorated tree with presents packs plenty of punch.

piecesontheground said...

we love christmas and decorate for it, but try to keep it classy.

we put up a tree, hang stockings, and change out the mantle decorations. Dining table stuff gets changed to crystal and gold, with a sparkly green placemat thing under the centerpiece.

white light go up outside, window boxes get filled with pine boughs (and sometime red chrsitmas ball hang off them) and the front door gets a wreath.

Holly @ Maison James said...

I'm Jewish, though not religious, so I light a menorah.

I have a huge collection of nice beach theme ornaments so if I'm feeling the holiday spirit, I get a small fresh tree and do it up with white lights and sparkly shells.

Some years I have enjoyed making highly decorated cookies to give away, and gingerbread houses. But that's rare.

Most of the time though I just hunker down and wait for it all to pass.

Anonymous said...

I'm puzzled that people who love decorating aren't into Christmas decorating - one of my favorite parts of the holiday - pots of amaryllis and paperwhites and pine boughs. We broke down and bought a fake tree a few years ago, so I make sure to have fresh wreaths around the house, even one on the shaker peg rack in the bathroom - just plain, for the scent. I agree there is way too much vulgar crap in the marketplace, just ignore it and don't let it ruin it for everybody.

jane said...

I would love to do some holiday decorating but being Jewish really throws a monkey wrench into that plan. Once you have a menorah or two you've pretty much bought all that there is to buy decor related. My husband WILL NOT let me get a tree even though I promised to only hang Jewishy ornaments on it like dreidls and bagels. I tried to think of a non-denominational holiday item to go with but the only one that comes in multiples seems to be snowmen. Unfortunately, where we live in LA we will NEVER see snow so it seems a little ridiculous to go that route. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Mary T said...

Lots of kooky old vintage stuff. Not much for the trendy, unless it glitters. Like, real glitter. Christmas is not about being subtle.

Jennifer said...

Thankfully I'm Jewish. Otherwise, I'd spend a ridiculous amount of cash on adorable xmas oranments.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back with decorating, bags and shoes. That political wind-bagging was beyond tedious.

Anonymous said...

"Beyond" tedious.

Why do people think that "beyond" is an intensifier? Or that an intensifier is even necessary?

Why not just say: "It was tedious"?



(PS: Keep the politics coming.)

David said...

The first year we moved to the condo I put up a 9 foot tree. White lights, silver, pearl, and gray balls, green ribbon garland, and a bunch of live white lillies in those little water vials.

It was stunning, and I had to refill those goddamned vials daily, sometimes more than once. We haven't decorated for the last two years.

This year I'm trying again. A plain boxwood wreath on the door, mixed boxwood and pine garland on the mantle, and the tree. Maybe a few ironstone bowls on the dining room table filled with Christmas balls.

Anonymous said...

it's not the holidays until you have an upside down christmas tree.

Anonymous said...

I used to buy MANY MANY vintage ornaments. They are all stored in the attic. And this year, I plan to use them on an aluminium silver tree (!!). After, I plan to sell all of them because for a few years, I have kept it very simple and loved it. After this last year, I will keep with the natural tree, lights and lots of icicles. Nothing else.

kym said...

Over the top Christmas decor is only okay in houses with young children. Adults who do this probably have emotional problems. You know them, maybe its you...it's definitely the people with the tacky and excessive lawn ornaments, and no kids.

I hate tinsel. It makes the tree look like a piece of garbage. (But you are supposed to think it is pretty because it is all shiny.) Tinsel is for lazy people, the same people who have unruly eyebrows and use the interiors of their cars as additional storage.

In NYC, you can have a tree delivered with the lights pre-strung, and you can specify the density of the lights. If you are really lazy, have lots of cash and no traditional bone in your body, you can have it pre-decorated, too. I feel numb just thinking about THAT tree.

Here is what I'd like to do: get a REAL tree, decorate it with the ornaments i have collected over the years, make a huge batch of strong egg nog, light a fire, and invite my friends over. Instead, I will be going to my in-laws.

Anonymous said...

I have a saltbox colonial and I live in Maine. So, that means candles in the windows and wreaths on the doors, garland around the frame of the front door, the tree in the family room, stocking hung from the fireplace mantle in the keeping room, and that's about it. Minimal is good. Also, i feel strongly that the christmas decorating puzzle has already been solved to my satisfaction. Why mess with tradition when it actually works.

Nantucket YaYa said...

I am with David on this(How cute is he?).

I have a white colonial in New England. There are 10 pear trees down the driveway strung with white lights, fresh wreaths on each window (11!) and candles on the sills. I have a scallop shell door knocker and use white shells and starfish on my huge mixed fresh door wreath and starfish in the transom above the door. There are two black wrough iron urns with spiral boxwood topiaries that I have planted with pea gravel and sea shells on the granite step.

Inside, I use fresh greens and garland on the bannister and mantel with paperwhites, white lights on the tree, candles and white ironstone platters and bowls with white shells. Some years, I use green pears instead of shells or white hydrangea. I find if I use fresh, I don't get tired of it, it is less like clutter than a lot of fake junk and no storage because you throw it out. When things start to wilt...There's your sign it's time to go.

Christine in DC said...

I have a small apartment, so I limit my decorating based on what I can store and fresh greenery that goes away at the end of the season. I have a fake tree, because the logistics and size works better (tried a real tree one year, and it was nothing short of a disaster)--but I hate it. The tree is my main decoration, and I do some candles and a few other things. I actually have an advent wreath in an attempt to bring a contemplative aspect to it.

My least favorite part of Christmas decorating is how stores start decorating way too early--it makes me sick of the holiday before it's even started.

I like classy decor (you people with the New England homes are making me salivate), but I can also appreciate tackiness. There was this house where I lived once that really did it up with multiple colors and tacky lawn decor and frankly, it still made me smile. Not what I'd do myself, but you could tell they loved it!

Anonymous said...

An intensifier is not necessary but rather desired and, in this case, is used for rhetorical purposes. Deal with it!

Anonymous said...

A little holiday decorating goes a very long way. Why "Traditional Home" magazine doesn't understand this is beyond me. Fir boughs, okay, but all that tinsel and boughs and relentless red is revolting. Give me a restrained Swedish Christmas any day.

kristin said...

Ah, I love Christmas. I think I'm the only one who gets happy when the stores start displaying their Christmas ornaments before Halloween. I listened to Christmas music (bad music, too) on the radio yesterday and was excited. It's my favorite time of the year.

I live in an apartment, so the tree is my main decoration. I want to get a wreath this year and maybe a couple other decorations to sort of round things out, but I'll wait until I find something I love. I've been looking, but haven't seen anything yet.

My mom once went out and bought some quite nice coordinating decorations (it was the 80s, but they were really pretty for the time), and my siblings and I HATED them. We rebelled and set up our normal Christmas decorations and a second tree in a different room. We wanted all of the decorations we collected and made over the years. To this day, I am uncomfortable by trees that are too decorator-y. I want a little spark and history and RED in mine. Yes, I am a red Christmas girl. I have fourteen boxes (paper box size) of ornaments for my one tree. I go insane, but I think it's beautiful. My key is to have lots of lights and some base ornaments that coordinate (like glass globes; I have a family heirloom collection of gold ornaments) to tie everything else together. I do have all-coordinating wrapping paper, though. It's just easier to not hunt down nice paper and ribbon every year.

I have a fondness for village sets even though they're kitschy, and someday I would like to have a set. Especially after I have kids. I won't get one until I have a much larger home. I think my tree is enough for my apartment. I also want a nativity, but I have yet to see one that I like. I think it's fine (translation: aesthetically acceptable) to have lots of decorations as long as there is ample breathing room between.

I have little to no problem with other people's tacky decorations. They're tacky, sure, but I don't care. If people want to put time and energy into celebrating, more power to them! I might think differently if I had a gorgeous house and next door was a circus, but until then, I'll smile. Same with people who decorate every inch. If it makes them happy, let them be surrounded by dozens of reindeer and snowmen and Santas. It's only out for a little while. Be a kid! Have fun!

Kwana said...

I throw my tree up right after Thanksgiving. It straight out of the box and I love it. It's filled with ornaments that I've collected over the years. Hey, it's a far cry from the 70's fountain that was in our Manhattan living room which we used to decorate as a kid complete with the little peeing cherub.
I don't have the reindeer, but I am pretty corny. Lights on the porch and all that now that I have a porch. Always plain white lights please.

Anonymous said...

"Deal with it!"

1. Overused.

2. Enough with the "!" This isn't Tiger Beat.

Anonymous said...

Christmas is all about the kids. I have tried (unsuccessfully I might add) to keep the lights white and the tree simple, but that shit just does not work when you have 3 kid (one of whom was born on Christmas eve for crying out loud!) I like to dress up the younger kids rooms by putting holiday sheets on their beds and the tree, well, my husband is a nice guy and a great dad, but he is a fan of colored lights!! I don't fight it anymore, I just let them enjoy it and wait patiently for the day they all come home for Christmas to my white lights only tree without the Green Bay Packer ornaments on them!! Happy Holidays people!

Anonymous said...

I've never "done 'Anonymous'", but feel I MUST right here! What a bunch of gnarly-sounding wenches, at least MOST of the lot of you are! For heaven's sake, get a grip! Some swear needlessly about the holidays, others are "doing the snob thing" w/ snide comments about what OTHERS do, and THEN there are a blessed FEW who have "positive attitudes"! It comes once a year, this holiday which the majority loves for a variety of reasons ~~~ what you DO or DON'T DO IS up to you, but I believe many of you are just plain, old, "unhappy campers" in LIFE, not just in facing the Christmas holidays! Geez!!!

alis said...

What's wrong with colored lights?? I can watch them flickering all night long.
People, please don't get a real tree. I can't get the sight of dead trees on the sidewalks after Christmas when I used to live in the USA. I don't care if they're farmed, a tree is a tree and chopping it down is cruel.

Anonymous said...

We always put up a x-mas tree here (a real one, not plastic!) but only on the 24th of december, not weeks and weeks in advance.
Other then that not really much. This year we might even skip the tree as we have 2 young cats who would probably take it down in a day.

Anonymous said...

ps: the ornaments on the tree are in classical colors like red, gold or silver, nothing tacky. But I am european and I think we go a bit less overboard, but there are more and more lights outside peoples homes.

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law puts decorations on every horizontal and vertical surface. A friend of mine said she felt like she was in a shop and started to turn an item over to look at the price.

I started to follow her and accumulated a bunch of cute junk that I no longer feel like using.

I have collected a bunch of souvenir ornaments, and family have added to that. I prefer them to having a theme tree.

The ornaments my son made when he was little became fragile, so I put them in a shadowbox frame.

I love amaryllis and paperwhites, but I'm skipping the paperwhites this year. They just don't last long enough to make the effort of starting new ones every few days for a continuous display. I think I had a dozen containers in rotation last year. Not gonna do it.

I got some of those strings of tiny battery-powered led lights from Jamali Garden last year to nestle inside a couple of hanging plants.

Anonymous said...

Here's another reindeer, available at Reform School. $96 for a wood puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vivien and others here's a news flash: The holidays are all about and for CHILDREN. I am all for editing and being tasteful and I don't like those yard things either. But, if you can't handle a single tacky ornament (hide it on the back of the tree), what do you say about the "interesting" artwork they bring home? Or the holiday treasures they proudly make at school? I guess since they are not yours, you couldn't understand. The holidays should be about people - not just stuff. And if it makes 'em happy can't we live with it for a few measly weeks?!?

Anonymous said...

Christmas is for everyone, not just kids. It's even for people with no style. Happy Holidays!

dolcechic said...

I love Christmas decorations, but I don't know about people buying live trees in November. Most of the time they're dry by the second week in December!

pve design said...

Silver and Gold.
Garlands,
Lights
Lately I love feathers too.

mforr said...

To contribute, here's an article we did on a family that really goes all out for the holidays,

http://www.baltimorestyle.com/index.php/style/features_article/fe_deck_the_halls_dec08/