Let’s Get Festive

Last week I was moaning about having no decorations in the house for the holidays and Sarah told me: Target, go there and ye shall be decorated to thy fullest. So! Saturday evening, armed with a budget Kamel and I left the house and headed out to find our winter wonderland.

This is the before picture of the living room windows:

This is the after picture of our living room windows:

We also set out to decorate the dining room. Here is the before:

Annnnd… here is the after:

So, what happened? Well… it turns out that decorating for the holidays involves getting crafty. And buying hooks for things. And string. And using push pins to hang ornaments at varying levels, and figuring out how to make the lights stick around the windows, and basically… I figured out that it wasn’t crankin’ up the Christmas tunes while prancing around the apartment marveling at the festiveness of it all. And that sucks. So instead of having a meltdown in Target, we decided to spend our decorating budget on this:

And we drank beer we already had from the America! party and watched bad TV while we waited for a Christmas movie to download – which we ended up never getting to.

Best troubleshooting decision we’ve ever made.

And we’ve decided that instead of jiggering together some shitty crafts (oh trust me, they would have been shitty… your craftiness is not shitty. Let’s just say my present wrapping involved masking tape and a prayer), we’re going to scope out the holiday sales after Christmas and keep our eyes peeled for decorations we really LOVE and want to pull out year after year, instead of stuff we probably would end up throwing away in a week when we move at some point in the future.

So, on this Monday, I raise a hoppy toast to the poinsettia, in all its festive glory, and to the cheese plate, because that’s a tradition worth repeating holidays or not.

28 thoughts on “Let’s Get Festive”

  1. Aw, I’m sorry Target failed on the ready-to-festive-it-up decorations! I was there yesterday and ours was looking a little sparce.

    Truth be told, other than our tree, the only things we put up are the stockings I insisted on getting last year. So, 2 pins. Then I just toss the snowflakes on anything that the string can loop around (think lamp knobs) and call it decorated.

    The poinsetta is lovely though, and seriously, that plate of noms is so much better than decorations you don’t love. So, that’s a win, right?

    1. I don’t think Target failed … I think my expectations did not match the truth of the situation. I WISH I had more of a crafty bone in my body, but the reality is having to make something of my own using thread and hope is super overwhelming. Hopefully I can tackle this a bit in the new year…

  2. Hahaha! Brie and sausage > unhappy decorating. Last year we did the frenzied gathering and decorating before Christmas. We were very pleased with the results, but it was hard to not to be too ambitious. I recommend Michael’s for most things — Christmas lights and suction cup hangers are cheap and plentiful, and you get a lot of holiday bang for your buck. But they sell out of just about EVERYTHING before Christmas. Seems like the big box stores don’t have decoration sales after the holiday because there’s nothing left.
    A (free) decoration that most 1st graders can do: paper snowflakes for your windows. My favorite thing to do, with holiday music and beers. Note the plural πŸ™‚ Directions for folding so you get actual six-sided flakes here: http://highhopes.com/snowflakes.html
    Also, commiserating with the failed craftiness, I was supposed to make (somehow) a tree skirt before last Christmas. This year’s tree is still naked :-\ Crafting. Not for the unmotivated/unskilled πŸ™‚

  3. I totally understand what you mean about the ornaments and decorations you want to pull out year after year. I grew up in a house where there was extreme affection over each little display area (the gingerbread Annalee family room mantle, the 70’s fantastic partridge-in-a-pear tree living room mantle, the Dept. 56 houses in the dining room, the Christmas dishes, etc.) and want that SO BAD for our house.

    I do have a few of the Dept. 56 houses of my own and four ornaments from my dad’s mom and dad’s first Christmas tree together (how they made it through the last 60 years and 6 kids I’ll never know…but they’re SO special). And we’ve been collecting an ornament each year to represent OUR life. But it still all seems punny…until I remind myself that my mom’s house with all of it’s loveliness is a product of almost FORTY years. I think I’m doing okay for our first Christmas in the house. πŸ™‚

  4. This is such a good call.

    I think one of my favorite things about being an adulthood is the ability to say “nope, not going to happen, motion tabled.” When Chris and I got our tree last weekend we spent 30 minutes trying to get it straigh in out piece o’ crap tree stand. I ran to the corner store, bought another one, and we proceeded to spend another 20 minutes trying to assemble it and get the tree straight. We gave up and lived with a 10 degree tilt tree for two days before returning to the project and ending up with the most beautiful tree in the world.

    Sometimes you just need to cut yourself some slack.

  5. It’s a hard thing to decorate for the holidays when you’re starting from scratch!
    Two things you can do next year is 1) get a pre-lit christmas tree (that is small enough to be stored in your closet throughout the year) they usually go on SUPER SALE at michael’s right after Christmas.
    2) Buy White string lights for $2 a box at home depot, and a pack of little suction cups with hooks. Put the suction cups on the GLASS of your windows, along the frame. Then string the lights through the hooks and you have an instant and easy light display! I even like to put ornaments on strings and hang them from hooks in the window too. Super cheap, and easy.
    This was the first christmas that Fred and I shared together, and even though we had a real tree I’m pretty sure we spent a total of $50 and we still have all of those lights and ornaments.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredandres/3089683443/in/photostream
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/allison_corn/314708726/in/set-72157605590381852

  6. Definitely worth investing in decorations you LOVE – instead of buying/tossing/wasting new ones every year. I’ve used the same for YEARS and it is fabulous (& cost effective). For now – eat your tasty cheese & meat tray! πŸ™‚ mmmmm

  7. Thats what my house looks like this year too. Except, instead of the poinsettia on my dining room table, I have a wreath that I bought and didn’t put on the front door yet. So, it’s table decoration this year. I vow to decorate my house next year (ok don’t hold me to that ’cause unless we are having people over, I probably won’t).

  8. We haven’t even had time to get a tree so I’ve settled for wrapping presents and calling that our corner of Christmas cheer. Good enough for me. They’re pretty and I won’t have to store them until next year!

  9. Christmas decorating is hard! I don’t think I ever realized how much effort my parents put into it when I was little.

    Bunny and I are the most un-festive couple ever. We have red and green scarves and that’s about as Christmasy as we get. Unless you count cookies, cause we’re all over those. It’s hard to want to go all out festive though when you know you’re leaving before the holidays properly start and won’t be home until it’s over.

  10. Oh yes to cheese. I mostly put little tea candles in the windows and some old decorations we rescued from the boys’ old house . Of course I am not crafty but I have a super crafty mom that cross-stitches and made us cute socks with our names, and the rest is just flowers and a small-ish tree that is more like a house plant.
    Oh but did you know Poinsettias, they are mexican πŸ˜‰
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphorbia_pulcherrima
    And be sure you get a little cute “Nacimiento” (Nativity scene in mexico) you can put it in a tray and it will be super pretty.

  11. After reading your post and all the comments, I keep thinking of that cheese platter and how much I’d really love one right now πŸ˜‰

    My Christmas decorating consists of the Christmas tree and the presents underneath it …

  12. That looks like the most delicious plate of Christmas decorations I’ve ever seen. I want it. Now.

    Also? My gift wrapping skills? Amazingly bad. I finished wrapping up a present for my mom, looked at it and thought, “It looks like a drunk toddler wrapped this.”

  13. haha I LOVE IT!!!!! So funny and so true! Why stress out about silly holiday decorations that will spend 11 months in a box when you can have a lovely cheese and cracker plate instead?

  14. Somehow…I have ended up with 3 Christmas trees. A regular fake green one, a 4 foot tall white one with white lights, and a 2 foot tall black one. This year my husband decided to tell me how much he hates the green one, so we donated it so someone else could love it. The only ornaments I have are janky ones from when I was a child (and my name is even spelled wrong on one of them, which I find kind of sad and funny at the same time) and ones from the dollar store. Oh, and lots of Elvis ornaments because my dad moved to TN and decided each Christmas that we need more Elvis!!! My front room has my white and black trees decorated and set up, and my living room has a sad piece of pink garland over the door way where our dogs have their stockings hung up. The dogs have nicer stockings than us….and I’ve lived in this house for 5 years.

    It’s a work in process. Take your time…I mean, you do have the rest of your lives together to make a magical wonderland right??

  15. You know what that window is screaming for? A string of chili lights. And that’s a decoration you can leave up year round!

    (Seriously though, that window looks so similar to our old one!)

  16. I definitely agree on slowly building up a stash of things you truly like rather than spending money just to have “something”. Friends at our party this weekend were amazed at how prettily our place was decorated – it’s the product of now 7 Christmases of deciding what I like and buying and making a few things each year, plus the all-important DESIRE to decorate. I tell them if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it!

    I am cracking up at the solution of buying cheese + sausage instead of having a meltdown. We would so do that in our house, too.

  17. oh man, this was me on Sunday. except we already have ALL THE THINGSβ€”the blessing/curse of inheriting 3 generations of stuff. and, good lord, putting up ALL THE THINGS is A LOT OF WORK. i never realized that as a kid cause i thought it was the best work that ever happened. as an adult, every year i downsize the decor even further. especially this year because we were away thanksgiving weekend, away the weekend of the 9th, and going to be away new years weekend. it’s like what’s the point of having it decorated for 2 weeks? it’s funny how now it’s just 2 weeks and as a kid it was the longest 2 weeks of all time. so anyway sunday we dragged the huge ugly tree i hate down from the attic and i grumbled and moped so much that Scott fluffed up the tree and put ornaments on it while I watched the Real Housewives.

  18. I fully support this decision. I was feeling the I’m-not-decorating-for-Christmas-so-I-must-not-be-a-real-adult-and-I-should-probably-go-buy-some-shiny-lights-and-crap blues and I ended up just posting Christmas Cards (from other people, because I never got around to making any, eh) on the fridge and calling it a day. I LOVE the choice of cheese/salami plates with your decoration-budget though. YES.

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