I love decorating our home for the holidays. I always have. Sometimes I even start planning what I want to do months in advance. This year has been different though. As Christmas approached quickly this year, Jamie and I debated if we should make our house a little festive or just skip it altogether this year.
It’s not that we weren’t into the holiday spirit, it just felt like too much on our plate. We have been pretty busy the past few weeks as we have been getting our client details to a good place so Jamie can take a maternity leave. We have also been in nesting mode at our house the past few weeks preparing for our baby to arrive. With Jamie’s due date actually on Christmas day, the idea of finding all of the ornament boxes, unpacking everything and then taking time to decorate felt like a lot, not to mention the hassle of decor clean up while simultaneously learning how to take care of a newborn baby also felt overwhelming.
And… I think we were also both a bit scarred from our Christmas tree last year that we carried up to our fourth floor apartment only to find that it wouldn’t fit in the stand… not to mention it fell over multiple times throughout the season, and we were still somehow cleaning up the pine needles nine months after we had already thrown it out. We didn’t want a repeat of that headache.
We went back and forth, but in the end we eventually decided to put up a Christmas tree and went out and purchased an artificial one. I learned that I should have measured how tall our ceilings were before shopping for a tree. It was too tall. I was so irritated at myself. The frustration of re-packaging the tree and trekking it back to Target made me once again want to cancel Christmas decorating altogether. The holidays shouldn’t feel difficult. It defeats the purpose of why we are even celebrating in the first place.
Luckily Jamie spotted these little Charlie Brown-ish trees that were already pre-lit and wrapped in burlap. All we had to do was set them out and plug them in. That I could handle. We added about twenty ornaments and some ribbon and yarn we already had on hand. We then hung a simple, premade garland over the entrance to our dining room. Done. It felt easy. It felt quick. It felt simple. It felt right.
I’ve decided that simple is good. It may not always be the most beautiful, award-wining look, but that is ok. I think in our image driven, social media saturated world, it is so easy for people to feel pressured to always create something innovative, big and beautiful that stands out from everyone else. It can be draining and life depleting at times. Making the decision to be simple was completely liberating. As we enter into this new phase of life, and embark on this steep learning curve they call parenthood, I am releasing myself from anything that feels too complicated and choosing simplicity as often as I can. What a freeing, life- giving decision this has been.
I had originally planned on doing several blog posts for the holidays, wanting to share a few complicated recipes. I released myself from that as well, and decided to just do something simple in the kitchen. We decided to make sea-salted caramels; they only take a few ingredients and are pretty easy to create. We wrapped them up in natural wax paper and then boxed them up for simple gifts. We’ll be sharing the recipe in the next day or two, so make sure to check back if you are looking for something home-made to gift this year
And for those of you who saw this grey velvet ribbon on our instagram account, and e-mailed me for a source, here is where I typically get all of my velvet ribbon from: MJ Trimming . If you are ever in NYC, this is definitely a place you want to check out!
photography: Matthew Land Studios