The other day at the grocery store, a pretty bouquet of fall-colored mums called my name. I purchased them, brought them home, put them in a pretty vase, and set them on my kitchen table.
Suddenly, I remembered that somewhere deep in the bowels of my linen closet, I had an autumn-themed table runner. I opened the closet door, and dug around like a ground squirrel digging for acorns.
Voila! I found the table runner and placed it underneath the flowers on my table.
I’ve never been very good at decorating. I have had the same furniture for over 20 years. My carpets are sad. Bill brought our art into the marriage. My walls are the same color they’ve been since we moved into this house.
I think about decorating, but I simply don’t know how to take that next step.
Both of my sisters lovingly decorate their houses for every season and every holiday. Bec, for example, has a haunted house that she puts out each Halloween and an Easter egg tree. She changes her door wreathes for the seasons. Someone who had been in a coma for 25 years could wake up in Jen’s house and know exactly what month it is by simply looking at her seasonal decorations.
What happened to me?
I called Jen the day I jammed the flowers into the vase and placed them on a runner bearing scarecrows and mallard ducks and asked her, “Did Mom decorate her house for the seasons the way you and Beckie do?”
She didn’t think so, nor do I.
Mom’s house was always very pretty. She had simple taste and her house reflected that taste. Better taste than I, I might add. But I don’t think she put up Halloween or Thanksgiving or Easter or Columbus Day decorations. (I’ve told my sisters I think the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria decorations are a bit much.)
Now Christmas decorations – that is a different story. In fact, Jen is pretty sure that unbeknownst to her or any of us, Mom invented the Elf-on-a-Shelf phenom. It’s true she always had elves peeking out of evergreen throughout her house. The little son-of-a-guns never brought us gifts, however.
And I will admit to you that I, too, decorate for Christmas, or at least I used to. I still put up my angel tree – the grandkids help me place the angels on the tree each year on the day after Thanksgiving. I used to put up three trees – the angel tree in the living room, the tree bearing all of the ornaments I have collected throughout the years in the family room, and a little tree with cooking ornaments in the kitchen.
In addition, I still put up a few straggling Christmas decorations, but the problem is that we leave for Arizona on Christmas day, and I simply don’t want to come back in May to Santa Claus. That means I am, like the Grinch, taking down Christmas on Christmas Eve. It seems easier to just not put them up.
See, I am the Grinch. I’ll bet he – even after his heart grew three sizes that day – doesn’t put up Flag Day decorations.
There’s only one holiday for which I decorate annually, come hell or high water – June 19 – National Martini Day.