I have been saying for years that I don't "seasonally decorate." I don't really get it. My mom and sisters all have their knick knacks and various holiday-themed bathroom towels and whatnot, but I've never picked up on that. My idea of decorating my house for the holidays involve a buttload of white Christmas lights and a scented candle for whatever the special day calls for: Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day, Pumpkin for Halloween and Thanksgiving, Pine Tree for Christmas and Beer and Bagels for my birthday.
But this year I decided to give it a real shot. I think they call it "nesting," but I call it "bored and living alone." I dug out some of my alleged Christmas decorations. The decorations I have now have all been pilfered from my mom's boxes of "not quite good enough to put in my own home" over the past couple years. I mostly have chosen things that I think are either funny or only vaguely Christmas-y. So, it's all kinds of weird mish-mashy stuff. Usually, I put a few things up and it looks Christmas-ish in my apartment.
So tonight, it was a totally different world when my sister Prinna and I decided to surprise my mom by decorating her house for Christmas while she was out of town. My mom basically lives in a Macy's parade when it comes to Christmas decorations. There is an entire area of the home dedicated to storing her life-size Santa, musical elf things, cranberry wreaths and all that mumbo jumbo. I had no idea what I was in for.
I got to my parents house, and my dad had taken down the 1,405 red-and-greeen Tupperware cases full of decorations. Prinna and I stood among them, and felt totally lost. "Did this Noel banner thing hang on this wall or downstairs? Where were these candles last year? Does Mom like these tumbling snowmen sets anymore?" It was balls. I got overwhelmed immediately. I told Prinna, "I can't do it. There's too much stuff. There are just too.many.knick.knacks!" She calmed me down by saying "We don't have to do everything the same way Mom did it. Let's do our own thing." Then she described how to decorate a table with similarly-themed things and how to swoop garland on a staircase.
Not to brag or anything, but I really excelled in the candle-placing and light-stringing areas of decorating.
Anyways, we finished decking the halls of the main level of my parents' house in a brief 6 hours or so. We couldn't have been more proud of ourselves. We gazed over our beautifully arranged nativity scenes and bookshelf nooks and breathed in the piney goodness of the house. After walking around the house and finalizing lighting strategies, we were finally satisfied. It will be interesting to see how much of my mom pukes at and changes, though. I made an entire shelf of about 12 random Santa figurines and Prinna was like, "Oh. Um. So, that's a lot of Santas." And I was all "I know. It's the theme of the shelf...DUH." And then I stuck a candle in between them.
When I got back to my house, it was lackluster to say the least. The cranberry "garland" I haphazardly wrapped around my everyday TV set was no match for where I had just left. And even though I put white twinkle lights around my giant window and put my pine tree-scented candle next to a stack of back issues of Entertainment Weekly, I suddenly felt like my whole apartment was naked. So I pulled out all of my mom's reject decorations and threw them all around. It's not as good as my mom and dad's house, but at least it's something.