Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Minimalist Christmas

Currently there is a trend in home decorating magazines, tv shows and newspaper articles toward minimalism at Christmas. They actually advocate barely decorating for Christmas, with a spindly little tree with about 7 ornaments on it, a single wreath with no embellishments at all save a small red bow (no glitter or sparkles anywhere on it) and using hot pink, purple and lime green as your Christmas colors. Excuse me???

Ok, first off, Christmas is no time to start reining in with your decorating. That's what Christmas is all about...ok, ok, I know Christmas is about the birth of our Saviour and being with family and all, but why not do it with a little style. What would Jesus do? He would put up a 9 foot tree, load it with lights, ornaments and glitter and have a killer party for all His friends. Well, maybe He wouldn't, but I don't think He minds it if I do.

Christmas houses need big fluffy trees loaded with multicolored lights. It's ok to use all white, as long as you don't have small children in the house. If you have children under 12, you need to use multicolored lights. White lights don't look like Christmas lights to children. Also, if you must have a designer tree, try to have another for the kids. Kids like bright colors, traditional Christmas colors of red, green, gold and silver. Blue is ok, if there is some red and green somewhere in the room. Have a tree that they can decorate with their homemade ornaments. It's best if it's the main tree, but if you can't stand the idea, let them have one in their room. My kids love having trees and lights in their rooms. Right now Jacob has green lights strung on his red bed. Benjie and Jonah have a string of multicolored lights around the window. There should be at least one nativity scene. I've started collecting them, and have two big ones-one I received as a wedding present, the other I received the same year as a Christmas gift from a coworker who was my secret Santa. I've picked up several more at discount stores, flea markets, antique stores and even the dollar store. They are all very pretty to me.

You need a collection of something-Santas, snowmen, reindeer, icicles, something. Three of anything is a collection-just group them together and point to them when you mention collections in conversations with friends. They'll get it.

You should also have stockings. They are critical and should reflect the person they belong to. Right now at our house we have multicolored chenille stockings with cranberry red cuffs. I think they reflect me more than anyone, but I have boys. They don't care what they look like, just that Santa loads them down with oranges, apples, nuts and candy on Christmas morning. Oh, and the occasional movie or video game doesn't hurt!

Outside, there should be lots of lights, a tree on the porch and a wreath on every window. Even the mailbox needs some decoration-evergreen wreaths and big red velvet bows.

I don't like minimalism in decorating any time, but if you must do it, please, don't do it at Christmas.

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