To Do or Not To Do: Decorating for the Holidays

Beauty is important to me, essential even. I find beauty to be nourishment for my soul, yet my aesthetics are rather eclectic. I love the intricate, nature-inspired work of art nouveau and the rich, detailed pieces of Waterhouse and other Neoclassicists and Pre-Raphaelites. I also love the stark beauty of desert landscapes and the postminimalists. One of my favorite artists as a teen was Patrick Nagel; his extreme stylism and streamlined images evoke ancient Egyptian art.

My taste in home decoration leans sharply toward the clean lines and uncluttered minimalism of Scandinavian design. I abhor tchotchkes and knick-knacks. I favor live plants over cut flowers. I prefer texture over pattern. Though few family photographs are out, my home is deeply personalized and beautiful. And if you ever walked into my house, it would look the same regardless what time of year it is – October 31st, December 21st, or a random Tuesday in August.

I have a girlfriend who is a wonderful decorator. Her home is filled with beautiful things and it is always fun to spend time looking at new additions every time I visit. During various holidays, her home is always festive and decorated with items associated with that particular time of the year. She enjoys bringing out the decorations she’s collected over the years and everyone who visits her home enjoys seeing them.

As much as I enjoy seeing neighbor’s holiday lights in December or graveyard scenes in October, the thought of decorating for the holidays makes me feel tired. Frankly, it seems like a big hassle. Everything has to be drug out of the garage, closet or attic, organized, untangled. After deciding where everything is going to be displayed, you’ve got to drag out the pins, nails, and ladders. Once decorations are hung, you have to maintain them – keeping a watchful eye on pets who are determined to play with ornaments and watering a holiday tree. After the holiday, the entire process has to be done in reverse – packed away in dusty boxes for another eleven months.

I find no joy in the work of decorating for holidays, so I don’t bother. I love walking or driving around to admire the holiday decorations of neighbors, but am equally grateful that I don’t have to put all those strings of lights away in my garage come January.

Do you decorate for the holidays?

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