Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Not Decorating for Christmas

Full-Scale Holiday Rebellion

Yeehaw, rebellion!  I'm there!  Well, that's not really what I'm like most of the time but, just right now, Full-Scale Holiday Rebellion feels like the right way to do.

Since I've mentioned my mother's Holiday Aversion recently, I should say that it also applied to Christmas.  She generally hated decorating a tree and would avoid it until someone in the family squawked.  One year no one squawked enough, I suppose, because she finally let us put up the tree on December 24 and then she took it down on December 26.  

Conversely, during another Christmas when my stepfather was out of the country on business, Mother put the tree up on December 1 and refused to take it down until he came home.  Christmas was on hold.  We didn't even get to open presents At All (this seems like a really major crisis when you're 11 years old, as I was that year).  Everything stayed put until Dad came through the door in March.  That one tree stayed up longer than all of our other trees added together.

Then there was the year that the adults in the family (everybody but me, that is) were so excited about opening presents that they woke me up at 3 AM to get an early start on Christmas Day.  

So I guess you could say that Christmas was all or nothing at all.  And generally our Christmases were about as traditional as our Thanksgivings (which is to say they weren't) unless you want to make a tradition out of not having traditions.  

Maybe it was her contrary nature but Mother loved it when I took over the decorating after the family became just the two of us.  She didn't want her house decorated (unless she knew she would have guests) but she wanted me to decorate a big tree in my trailer next door.  So that's what I did.  After she passed on and I moved into her house, that is what I continued to do.  In fact, I had a tree in every room.  Admittedly most were small trees but I decorated like it was the most important thing I could possibly do.  The house was an explosion of shiny red and gold from the first Sunday of Advent right on through to what my grandmother used to call Little Christmas (January 6).

But no one ever really saw my decorations.  And more than one person asked me why I bothered.

I suppose I got the idea for rebellion the other day when a friend made a snarky remark about decorating for the holidays in my living room.  It stung.  Yes, right now the room is piled high with stuff and it looks like I've taken a crash course from Hoarders University.  Yes, I'm embarrassed by it.  But there's a reason:  I'm re-organizing my life, I'm sorting stuff for eBay listings, and I'm preparing for a yard sale.  Yes, it is a mess and it will undoubtedly be a mess for another month or more; it just takes me longer to get stuff done than other people do.  But where my friend saw junk, I'm looking at dollar signs--there are things to be sold; I've just got to dig through the dross to find the treasure.  Gotta keep your eyes on the prize!

Part of that mindset is being sensible:  I'm not gonna waste five days putting up decorations and three days taking them down again this season, especially since no one cares if the house is pretty for the holidays.  I'm the only one who looks at it!

Decision made:  I'm decorating one room only and I'm not decorating a lot.  I'm not even bothering with the nativity set.  A small tree in the dining room.  A few pretty beaded runners.  A couple of candles.  That's it.  No red and gold explosion.  Judging from the amusing bits and pieces I pulled out of the storage boxes today, it's likely to be sorta pinky-purpley colors this year. 

Hey, after all, I learned holiday rebellion from the best.  And, if you think about it, my over-decoration was also a rebellion, too, just in the other direction.  

The pendulum swings.  
Life is good.  
So is pinky-purpley stuff sometimes.

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