Clippings by avspatti

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RE: Am I the only One? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: housekeeping on 11.29.2006 at 12:39 am in Home Decorating Forum

Nope, I'm with you. First house decorations- wreaths on doors, more holiday-themed flower arrangements - don't go up until the day before Advent Sunday. Then I get progressively more decorated, i.e red cyclamens and pointsettias, red candles and mantle decorations over the following week or so.

Finally, our tree goes up late on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. We use a fresh one, cut that day, because after supper we light it for the first time with tiny, real wax candles. It's absolutely magical to see, but because of the fire risk it can only be done when the tree is so fresh it hasn't figured out it's no longer in the field. Christmas Eve is such a quiet, sweet, time so we just sit and admire the tree and rest and listen to music from our family traditions. (And eat cookies!) From Christmas morning onward we use electric lights for the tree, and though they are pretty, nothing compares to real candles.

In our house Christmas stuff stays up until after King's Day (Jan. 6) as I grew up in Latin America and that's when you get presents. (Well, we do presents on both days, not to slight anyone's holiday!)

I don't light outdoors at this house as I think that kind of display is more suited to an urban or suburban area and we now live in a very remote place. I like dark skies at night best, anyway. And to be honest, the recent outdoor decoration trends: inflated, noisy, light-every-angle-on-the-front-of-the-house style looks utterly tacky to me. Sometimes I think the more ill-proportioned the house, the more likely it will have a string of blinking, jittery, lights to highlight its flaws.

While I'm with you in waiting to begin, I think we have a very modest Christmas compared to what many people seem expect. We like to keep it lower-key, and focus on the gentle meaning of the Season. Years ago we probably were more in line with what others did, but since then there seems to have been a epidemic of Holiday-inflation/exageration with everybody now seeming to think they're not doing, giving, getting, eating, or spending, enough somehow.

We just decided not to follow suit as that doesn't fit our tastes. And it really ruins my Christmas mood to feel any Holiday stress more severe than running out sugar cookies. I read about, and hear from my friends how stressed and anxious they feel about getting everything done, and I think it is really a pity for them. They miss the quiet drawing-in that for me is the hallmark of the beginning of winter.



clipped on: 12.07.2006 at 09:41 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2006 at 09:42 pm