Friday, November 13, 2009

Holiday Decorating and Being Content with What You Have

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This last week I’ve been slowly getting out our Christmas decorations. As I do every year I challenge myself to put things up in a different way, to be creative with what I have and create a new look. And like in years past I’ve found myself searching through magazines, websites and blogs for inspiration. There’s a lot of inspiration out there for sure, and that’s a great thing. Except when it becomes a bad thing.
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You see, I’ve noticed something very interesting, the more I look around for ideas the less content I am with what I have. I feel more paralyzed in my decorating, simply because I feel like I have to go buy something new to complete the look.
I was digging through the bins that store our Christmas decorations and I started thinking about Christmas growing up. I fondly remember the kitschy things my mom decorated with. There was the plastic Santa face (that’s what we called him). He hung on the wall and played a music box version of Jingle Bells when you pulled the string. There was a little ceramic, red boot that Mom always had plastic holly in. And then there were all the amazing things my Grandma had at her house.
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As I was thinking of all this I realized that I can hardly remember all the specific holiday things that my mom decorated our home with growing up. What I do remember is the heart of it. She took time to make it special, no matter what we had. And I sure don’t remember her bringing in a bunch of new things every year. I’m coming to an understanding this year that decorating for Christmas is as much about making our homes beautiful as it is creating memories for the people who live in our homes. I don’t want my kids to remember the stressed out mom who got crazy trying to recreate all the cool things she saw in a magazine. I want my kids to find comfort in the sameness of our Christmas decor from year to year, even as I work in new touches. And really, I want to choose to be content with what I have while looking for new and creative (and thrifty) ways to add to. Because the heart of Christmas is not found in the decorating, it’s found in a tiny little baby who came to bring life. It’s about celebrating that, not a magazine worthy home.
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So I’ve embraced a can of silver spray paint to update a few things. And even though I have purchased some artificial greens, I’ve decided to stop there and use what I have to make Christmas at my home. And in that I’m deciding to put my Christmas focus on the things that really matter this season.
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How could you be creative and use what you have in a new way this season?
Today I’m sharing with the Inspired Room Beautiful Life Friday’s.

33 comments:

  1. WOW! You are SO right. Thank you! I needed to hear that...and just as I am headed out to shop--perfect timing. Love the heart of this message.

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  2. Amazing photos....love the Christmas Tree with the race cars...very creative!!

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  3. Well said. I add one Christmas ornament per year. Doesn't always match but it doesn't matter. The family helps me put the decos up *together*, which is really the heart of Christmas spirit.

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  4. I've been thinking the same thing...every time I open a magazine, watch a show or check out a blog......it makes me feel like my Christmas decor is not "up to snuff".....nice to know others are feeling this way too.
    With 2 young children I make sure to focus on the family/friends part of Christmas and not the STUFF part of it.

    PS: love the tree with the cars, very cute!!

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  5. Great thoughts. They mirror my own journey of simplifying, downsizing, being more content with what I have.

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  6. I think it is the traditions that made Christmas so homey. My favorite thing is the midnight Christmas eve service--wonderful!

    http://spindlecottage.blogspot.com/

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  7. Wonderful post! Last year I focused more on how things looked and wondered why my children weren't focusing on the joy of the season. This year we are repurposing all of our old stuff together. It's a lot easier to show them Jesus when He is the focus rather than style! We loved the button tree and will be making one of those. We've made them with M&Ms and ribbon, so the buttons and trim are fun new ideas. THANK YOU! www.ponderingsofasimpleheart.blogspot.com

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  8. AMEN!! Great post! What beautiful decorations...using what you have! Love the tree with the cars...that could be in a magazine. ;) Hugs and God bless.

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  9. This is a great post. This year things are going to be tight and as much as I would love to go shopping for new fun things to decorate the house with...it ain't happenin! Your post reminded me that it really does not matter...it is the feeling in the house not the items.

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  10. Oh my WORD--is that tree with the race car track around it yours? I love it!

    Great post!

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  11. Yep Nester-that's mine, well it's actually my son's-his annual request for Christmas. It's easy to do so I'm happy to oblige!

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  12. very wise words...love that race car track tree!!!

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  13. Words I needed to hear!

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Kate

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  14. Amen! I'm really trying to do use what I have for Christmas decorating too. I gave myself a budget of $20 for new stuff and I've already blown that :( It's hard. I see lovely ideas on blogs and such and I have a compulsion to copy it.

    That's it - I'm done. No more Christmas decor - especially since I have an entire basement full of Lord only knows what decorations that have been given to us by our families. I'm counting on you ladies to keep me honest!!

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  15. Everything is so cute! You've been a busy girl. Wanna do mine while you're here?

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  16. Beautifully said! I am LOVING your blog and am a new follower!

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  17. BUT I have to ask you!!! Where did you find that hot wheel race track photo/info? Thank you. My email is cnlisa at hotmail dot com

    Much appreciated!

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  18. Great ideas, the car one made me laugh my hubby would love that!

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  19. congrats on the the TCB feature! I've loved looking through your blog and will be back again, soon!

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  20. I often feel the same pressure. So nice to hear someone else say they try to use what they have creatively, rather than go buy more stuff. Seasonal decorating can get so expensive.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  21. These things are gorgeous! Lovely ideas, I completely agree.

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  22. I love this post! I have felt the same way as I look at the ways other people decorate their homes. But, this year, I too decided to stick with all that I already have and incorporate them into something "new". It is actually fun and creative!

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  24. Wonderful post and so very very true! Now, how do I get by the notion that I have to go out and find things like you've done to complete this look?!? :) Honestly, your vignettes and trees look so wonderful! I think perhaps we ourselves tire of what we have so to us it looks 'old'.

    I did my 'new' decorating with everything I had on hand as well this year and made it all look different. It's just like staging... just shop the rest of the house and there you have it.

    Here's my no sew, no cost, no time decorating. :)

    http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/2009/12/funky-no-sew-no-time-no-cost-christmas.html

    Donna

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  25. This is just what I needed to read today!
    Excellent post.

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  26. I'm finding that as my kids grow older, I have two spots that are mine - the mantle and the "nice" tree in the living room. The rest of the house is full of all the "regulars" the stuff the kids remember from year to year. They get so dang excited to see that dumb reindeer that goes together like a jig saw puzzle and the plastic bear/angel that changes colors to the tune of Silent Night. You're right, these are the memory makers.

    The rest of my decor is made up of things the kids have made in school or we've made together, like the snowflake display we make each year after a whole night of folding and cutting together.

    Great post.

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  27. There's so much pretty inspiration to create or buy something new but budget this time of year rarely allows for a whole new look. So, finishing my decorating with what I already own. :) Great post. You're so right.

    Roeshel

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  28. Gina, you've said it perfectly.

    Love ya, GF!

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  29. Perfect post!!!! I love it. I have had to back off from blogging a bit lately because I was beginning to feel unsatisfied. And envious. Traits I do NOT want to have. Jesus is the reason for the season. We gotta remember that.

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