Confessions of a Christmas List Maker

11:31 AM

Have you been inspired by all the beautiful Christmas decorations in blogland? I was ready to decorate the day after Halloween when the early-bird bloggers first began sharing their homes. This isn't because I feel that I have to. I just genuinely LOVE decorating for Christmas. I love the season so much I have been known to play Christmas music in July.

Now that we're into the second week in December I realize the ideas saved to my Pinterest Christmas board will not become a reality this year. Too many obstacles arose, too little time for execution, and now there is simply too little motivation.
It wasn't for lack of initial enthusiasm or for lack of planning. It all looked very promising on paper. I made my to-do list, checked it twice, and couldn't wait to get started. 
Since we were leaving on a two-week Thanksgiving vacation, I decided to get ahead of the December time crunch by putting my tree up early. I had pneumonia last December and skipped decorating so this year I was going to redeem myself with fresh decorations that would make Pinterest Pinners proud. I also planned to have all of this completed by December 7 for my daughter's birthday celebration.
The Tree
The one day allotted to tree trimming turned into a three-day ordeal which culminated in having to hastily buy a new tree. Chunks of the pre-lit tree weren't lighting due to shorts in the bulbs and the bulbs were specialty ones that are no longer made. (It should have been an omen of Decorating Future.) After the third day of dinking with the old one Moonpie bought an inexpensive tree from Walmart and I practically threw the ornaments on to be sure it was completed before we left.
Good news...I was still on schedule. As you can see the ornaments are placed on the "high side". This is a sure sign that there is a toddling grandbaby that visits here. (..and he LOVES balls.) 

The Schedule
After arriving home from our vacation on December 1st my schedule said I was to have the outside decorations done on Tuesday, the inside on Wednesday, and then I would have three days to clean and concentrate on the menu before my daughter's birthday dinner on Sunday.  
I forgot that I have never executed anything in three days. I also didn't plan on it being confusing.
I always store my Christmas decorations in boxes marked according to rooms. It usually takes me little time to set things out and fill in with greenery. After opening the third box it became apparent that something was amiss. Moonpie had graciously packed away the Christmas decorations the last time I used them two years ago so I wouldn't be faced with it after work, but things weren't in their usual boxes. (Outside garland was mixed in the box marked Inside Garland, kitchen decorations were mixed into the Great Room box, ...etc. It was an OCD person's decorating nightmare.)
Since I skipped decorating last year I couldn't remember what I had used in which room and there was no guessing which box things were hiding in.
I looked in boxes. I took a few things out and set them on the floor. I closed the boxes.
I repeated this about 400 times trying to sort things into "room piles".
My decorating paralysis ate up Day 1 and the storage room quickly began looking like Homegoods had exploded. So far nothing on my list was accomplished.

 The Kitchen
On Day 2 I decided to only concentrate on one room at the time and the kitchen was first up. This took many trips up and down the stairs because instead of bringing down my box marked "kitchen" in one trip I was bringing only one or two random items at the time. (It was great exercise. I highly recommend it to work off Thanksgiving pounds.) I stuck a Santa mug in the Keurig and stacked everything else that looked "kitchen-like" on my counter. I eventually took most of it back upstairs and deposited it on the storage room floor. The Santa mug got to stay.

On to the great room.
Still clinging to the fresh greenery fantasy I went outside and ravaged the only live cedar tree we have on our property which happens to be about two-feet tall and has four sparse limbs. I wound up sticking some of it into a box filled with old dry baby's breath and setting it on the console for a quick decoration until I could purchase the rosemary topiaries on Day 3. It's still there. It is quite crunchy now. I never bought the topiaries.

The Mantel
I accidentally put the outside garland that goes on the lamppost on my inside mantel, realized my error after it was affixed, but was too lazy to take it back down since I had wrestled with it for an hour. I stuck my outside porch wreath above it hoping to avert the eyes away from the atrocious garland. It doesn't avert very well, but again I had spent too much time trying to get it to stay up there and wasn't taking it down. Now there were two outside decorations in the wrong place and I had to go buy another wreath to go on the porch door.
I decided fresh greenery would make the ugly garland look better, but I didn't have enough cedar left so I ravaged the neighbor's Magnolia tree while they were at work.
After fluffing the garland with Magnolia I hated it even more. It was like putting lipstick on a pig.

I couldn't redo it because The List said time was running out and I hadn't yet finalized my menu, shopped for food, cleaned the house, wrapped the birthday girl's present, or washed two-weeks worth of laundry. I decided I would take it all back down after the birthday party.
My vision was to redo the entire thing in simple fresh-cut greenery, old books, and pewter pitchers filled with sprigs of fir, rosemary, and boxwood. I mapped out my neighbor's schedules to plan when I could revisit their magnolia tree. You must use your imagination on the dream mantel because in reality it isn't going to happen. The magnolia on there now has dried into a fire hazard and keeps dropping leaves onto the hearth.
On to the foyer.
I had dragged down a fake tree and three wooden Santas so I plopped them on a table in the foyer intending to fluff  the base with real green stuff later.

It is still unfluffed.
At this point I was running out of time and motivation and threw away my To-Do List. I stuck an old Santa hat on James, our butler, and filled him up with candy that Moonpie hates so it wouldn't be eaten in two days. He's the only one that seems pleased with the décor.

I have no idea what I used in the foyer two years ago, but I remember thinking it was pretty. I'm sure whatever it was is probably hiding in a box marked "sunroom" because I'm totally ignoring that space this year. I am now ready to just take everything down and move on to New Year's Eve when I drink champagne and make To-Do List resolutions that I break by January 3.
In Conclusion
So instead of a stunning Christmas photos I give you a winter sunset in the Marina. It appears that God has already decorated for his Son's birthday. It feels good to be off the hook. In the meantime I'm already making a new To-Do list for next year.

I love it and plan to start early. Is it time for that champagne yet? 


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  1. Tooo funny!! I love your honesty. We can all identify. By the way... I think it looks great - even the lipstick on the pig!

  2. You are too kind! However, if our local Tractor Supply ever sponsors bloggers to feature, I may be chosen.:)


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