Thursday, December 20, 2012

Step Aside, Martha.

Once in a while I dream about being Martha Stewart (minus the felony and jail time) - like when she showcases her amazing vegetable and herb gardens, or displays her gorgeous Autumn decorations which are the visual epitome of harvest bounty, or when she offers tutorials on how to make adorable canvas sunhats for babies out of materials leftover from previously attempted Martha Stewart canvas projects.  

So it's out there - there's a lot I like about Martha.  Except, not at Christmastime.  Because if you've ever perused the holiday issue of her magazine, Living, you may, like me, find that it falls flat.  There are beyond copious amounts of beautiful decorations... maybe a little too much glitz and glitter for my taste, but none-the-less, her home is superbly decorated.  There is no doubt left in your mind that it is Christmas and the decorating began months ago.  But, I don't care for it.  It's usually theme based - a concept, an idea, a color.  And everything has to fit into those conceptual boundaries.  Everything.

Christmas by the seashore

Crazy gaudy goldness

Country angels and stars, a study in red and white.

All images from
(I realize these are not all trees that she herself may have decorated ,
nor have they necessarily been in her actual home...)

In my humble I-don't-really-have-a-decorating-style-at-all opinion, this type of decorating seems sterile.  Her home looks lovely, but to me, it doesn't conjure all that we typically hold dear at Christmas.  Home, family, friendships, Faith.  Any given year, I may see the magazine and immediately know that her theme is "Woodland Christmas abounding in birch bark, twigs,  and hints of gold," or "Christmas of Yore accented with Victorian Lace, pearl ornaments, and ribbon candy."  But I've never looked at her decorating and seen the joy of Christmas past and present -   the joy that comes from sharing the best season of all with the ones you love.

Anyway, that's our decorating theme.  It's not fancy or fine.  The theme is Home.  The theme is Family.  And it's abundantly evident on our home-y Christmas tree.  There is no concept, idea, or color scheme to convey.  It's a mish-mash of family memories, and I love it that way.  Our tree holds many ornaments from my  late Grandma Louise - beaded ornaments and liquid embroidery ornaments, ornaments my mom has made throughout the years, ornaments that I made when I was younger - salt dough and sewn, and the ornaments that my children have started to work on - mostly crazy marker things (very modern...) and glitter atrocities.  Last year the kids even had some interesting pipe cleaner creations woven among the branches.  And of course, because the tree is about family and it's my family that decorates it (and redecorates it throughout the season) there are unattractive clumps of ornaments here and there and there are some areas with no ornaments at all.  Frankly, parts of our tree look totally ridiculous;  it's the most beautiful tree I've ever seen.

Somehow, year after year, we've managed to have the most  perfect Christmas tree of all.  So step aside, Martha.  We've got this one.  

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