Being fifty-something, I’m old enough to decide what Christmas looks like in our house.
And so it came to pass that when I gingerly peaked inside the Christmas storage boxes a couple of weeks back, I saw nothing inspiring.
There were all the usual suspects collected over the years … shiny baubles, hanks of tinsel, tiny wooden nutcrackers, hang-from-the-ceiling foil stars, santas in almost every iteration you can imagine and trails of sparkly tree lights.
This year, I found it all a bit average … a touch tacky, bordering on gaudy.
So I closed the lid and resolved to have a different type of Christmas at our house. Just this year. Because I can.
I’ve been dreaming of a simpler Christmas with thrifty objects, hand-crafted decorations and a calmer, less consumerist approach. I’m thinking re-purposed, vintage, found objects (as opposed to Made in China, plastic, over-priced, mass-produced).
I’m not sure about the real meaning of Christmas, but I’m certain I won’t find it in those dusty old boxes in the storage room.
Most years we spend $30 on a real Christmas (maybe even $50 for a ceiling scraper). This year the family Christmas celebrations have rotated their way to other households and we won’t be hosting a gathering, as such. There will be less action than usual here over the yuletide. It seems over the top to buy and decorate a tree for what will basically just be Mr P and me. Instead, we will do without the mess and the fuss and see that the money finds its way to someone deserving.
As for gifts, we’re only buying for a handful, mostly via Kris Kringle arrangements. I’ve pledged to shop local, hand-crafted, re-purposed and/or vintage where I can.
Wonder Boy (the Economics major) will tell me I’m not doing my bit for the economy. I’ll tell him not to fret … I’ve done plenty over the years, and I’ll make an effort to rev-up productivity in the new year.
Instead of under the tree, we’ll stack our gifts on the fireplace hearth (it’s summer downunder) beneath this: our Christmas mantle decoration I made by over-printing vintage book pages, their ribbons secured to the mantle by my vintage brass lady bell collection.
The closest thing to a tree in our house will be this trio of thrifted pots I dressed up with fallen pine cones and (more) vintage book pages. Post-Christmas I have plans for the pots in the herb garden.
And today I fashioned this simple door wreath from rose prunings from our garden. Not bad for an incidental gardener.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here.
Simple Christmas. Just the kind of Christmas I’m dreaming of.
Because I’m fifty-something and I’m wise enough to understand that Christmas is different for everyone.
And different from year to year.
And because I can.