One of my memories from childhood was visiting the parents of my sister-in-law. They were ancient. Truly ancient. They lived in a small in-town end-of-row house with not much room. I remember it as dark (and ancient). Lots of lace and Victorian furniture that had seen better days.
At Christmas they would put out a single ceramic Christmas tree with lights about 12 inches tall on the mantle. That was it. I was always sad that they didn’t go ‘gong ho’ with the decorations and cooking and stuff. Isn’t that the fun part of Christmas?
They served Russel Stover candies. That’s good except I wasn’t allowed to bite in and put it back if it wasn’t a caramel. In our house most of the candy had teeth marks or at least a finger nail scratch. (Yes we were uncouth!)
They were nice enough for ancient people but they weren’t like my mother who was 20 years younger.
My mother’s house was always full of light (and good smells) even when she got older. The cards were hung on the staircase and there were candles and decorations all over.
Once I moved out of the house her “decorating” dwindled but there were enough of us to come and help put something up. Between my niece and me, she always had a tree.
She said it was too much work but we put up the tree anyway. Afterward we took it down. If we weren’t on her time schedule she took it down herself.
Now as I am getting older, the whole decorating thing is turning from excitement to pure work. The beloved husband loves a tree so there is one. Even the cats no longer pull off the balls.
As for other stuff — Yikes!
Do I have to get it all out? How about just a nice poinsettia? Or a single Santa?
We have downsized our (artificial) tree several times from a tall chubby one to a tall thin one to a medium sized thin one. Now we have a small thin four footer. We keep most of the decorations on the tree and stick it in a bag until next year. Easy peasy.
Given the choice I would forego it. (The cats would not be happy as they love sleeping on the velvet tree skirt. Perhaps I can get them a velvet cat bed?)
At this point my perfect Christmas would have a ginormous poinsettia on the table and a little Norfolk pine with red bows. Oh yes and a wreath on the door. (I’m still about the people part and getting together, just not the work part.)
Thinking back to those ancient folks who didn’t decorate, I’m getting to be more like them every day except my house will never be dark!
Some of my readers are retirement folks (no, you are not ancient!). Do you go hog wild at Christmas or have you toned down your decorating zeal?