This year….I want to go back in time.
Like Christmas in the 18th century.
Back to a less hectic, less decorated, less is more time.
Can you believe you are reading these words?
This from an impulsive, romantic woman who hasn’t met a flocked White Christmas tree or glittery nutcracker that she hasn’t fallen in love with!!!
You know, the one who goes into Hobby Lobby to purchase a seeded eucalyptus branch and comes out with bottle brush trees of all sizes, garland with champagne bubbles and large soft pink and baby blue ornaments for a pastel Christmas tree!!!
Can you believe it?
This from the woman who every year, puts up 9 Christmas trees, each with it’s own theme….
….and who plans the huge Christmas open house party, complete with home made wassail and Christmas cookies and chicken salad and BBQ little smokies!!!!
The more is more and then some, Me!!!!!
I don’t know why, but this year, I longed for simplicity.
I don’t know where it came from.
…..but if you recall from an earlier post, I decided I was NOT going to put up Christmas Decorations until after Thanksgiving.
I was going to take the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday without the Christmas trees and my Elf on the shelf peeking around each corner as I baked my pumpkin pies and made stuffing for the turkey.
And I was true to my word.
And I thoroughly enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holidays.
But, something definitely happened as I put away the left over turkey and cranberry sauce.
I think it started in the garage.
I went out to the garage to get an idea on where to start the Christmas decorating.
But as I looked around the garage at all the bins full of Christmas that take up a whole wall of ceiling to floor shelves, I sighed.
I looked at the three racks hanging from the ceiling that held all nine Christmas trees; each one marked in bold black marker as to which room it should go, as one marks moving boxes.
And I sat down on the garage ladder/step stool.
A bit overwhelmed.
I looked over at one of the Christmas shelves and remembered how I cleared away “stuff”, for the storage of the little Victorian houses I had been collecting all year long to use in a future Christmas vignette or tablescape.
And I sighed again.
I looked intently at the Queen Anne Victorian house pictured on the box nearest me.
My thoughts drifted to an earlier time.
What was Christmas like, so long ago, for the people who lived in that house?
I knew the Victorian era decorated for Christmas, I could see from the picture on the box, the Holiday wreaths with their little red bows at the windows so painstakingly re-created.
However, I have to confess that I always thought of Christmas as being steeped in tradition that most likely began in the 1800’s.
That was until I read a little about it while collecting my Charles Dickens Village houses.
You see, before Queen Victoria’s reign, which began in 1837…nobody, in Britain had heard of Santa Claus or Christmas Cards or Father Christmas or even Rudolph the red nosed reindeer!
In fact, most of the people of the Victorian era did not even have the Christmas Holiday as a day off.
Of course they knew of the Christ child and his lowly birth, which is the real reason for the season, but the celebration of Christmas remained for them, an entirely religious occasion without all the commercialization.
How appropriate was that?
The more I thought about it, as I sat there alone in the garage….I realized the reason I was feeling overwhelmed.
This year, all that “stuff” seemed like just so much “stuff”…especially as I stared way high up on the top shelf at that huge green bin filled with all the odds and ends of scrap garland and broken sentimental ornaments and lights that didn’t work, (but just some of the time) and items that I just couldn’t seem to part with.
You know the kinds of things you hang onto because someday you might need them or use them?
That same bin that you open every year, glance inside it and slam the top down and put back on the shelf.
Well, not this year.
The first thing I did was pull the green bin down and shoved it to the side….I would open it and discard the unusable and give the rest to Goodwill.
My friends, please note that I am not getting rid of all the “stuff” I have….
No, I can’t bring myself to eliminate all the “stuff” I have accumulated over the years for each themed room of my home.
I had too much fun collecting it and decorating with it.
None of it has gone out of style.
The older, the better and most precious in some cases, and if one waits long enough, it will be fashionable again.
After all, do you remember hot pink stirrup pants, blue eyeshadow, depression glass and MacGyver?
They have all come back into “fashion” and I know I will want to put up all my trees and have the big open house, …. next year.
But for this year?
At this point, I spoke out loud.
I told all the nine “Christmas Tree Decors” that they were sitting this year out.
I told them to prepare for a change of scenery, relax and get rejuvenated for 2018.
Because I was going another route this year.
I decided one simple tree was all I needed.
A Pretty pastel tree with soft pink and baby blue ornaments.
I decided to eliminate the huge Christmas open house that we put together each year.
A simple Victorian Christmas is what I wanted.
This is where the Dicken’s Village comes in.
All lit up, it looks a lot like Christmas, even though I do need to spruce it up a bit with more snow, less wires and a couple more Victorian figures.
Just keeping it real here folks!
And for additional bling?
A Snow Village made up of 12 Victorian houses, lots of snow and children playing.
And for a modern take on Christmas, how about a vignette scene from the movie “Christmas Vacation”?
Or “A Christmas Story”??
And of course, the Nativity.
It wouldn’t be complete with baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Who says one always needs additional Christmas trees when the spirit of Christmas is all around the house?
When I talked with the Captain about my desire to “cut back” on the Christmas Tree decor this Christmas, he came up with a wonderful idea.
He suggested we go to New York and visit Time Square and see the Christmas Spectacular and a Broadway play or two.
Just he and I.
Christmas in New York!
Yep! That is more like it.
At least for this year….who knows what next year will bring?
Maybe this year of “not so much” will get me more excited to set up all the trees for “over the top” next year.
And have all our friends and family for a Christmas Open House Party.
I suddenly feel a surge of energy as I begin to think about setting up my Victorian Christmas village: I feel like a child at play.
Have a blessed day.