Master of Your Domain

Something is wrong with me.

Let me explain. I think it started last year, within one hour, I got all of my pretty vintage garland out and put it on the huge, long railing of our stairs, looked at it, it annoyed me, and I took it all down.  I packed it up and sold it at my yard sale a few months ago.  I ended up finding some fresh garland and hanging it at one little spot on the railing and in our breakfast area.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I have 4 bins of Christmas stuff in our garage.  One is now empty after putting lights on the tree.  So I looked through those three bins thinking I could put a few things out and join in Rhoda’s Christmas Vignette party today.

And let me also take this moment to have a disclaimer.   I LOVE Christmas decorations.  I love bright colors together, I love when people do all whites, I love red and naturals, glitter and silver and gold is gorgeous,  I love plaids and layers and textures and tiny details, I think it’s all so beautiful, and I appreciate the creativity and artisticness of the person who takes the time to lovingly decorate their home {I like to think I am one of those people}.  But for some reason, this year, when I tried to put a few items around in my home, they annoyed me.

And the fact that my Christmas decor annoyed me~annoyed me.  Are you getting this?  I panicked a little am I becoming a minimalist? Not that there’s anything wrong with that {insert Seinfeld laugh track}.  I mean look at that photo up there, there’s a ROCK on my dresser.  A rock.  And it’s the thing that’s NOT annoying me?

In my defense, the rock does relate to my the container of forced bulbs and rocks. I did manage to sneak an ornament in those leaves, that is Christmasy, right?

The only things I could put up with were the most simple of items.  A bowl of nuts and a few ornaments sprinkled here and there. Forgive me for thinking this angle will look fun, it just looks annoying, doesn’t it? See? EVERYTHING is annoying me.  What is my problem?!

This room is all dressed up for the holidays.  See it?  There’s another ornament tucked in that brown branchy stuff. Done.

So, maybe tomorrow I’ll unpack everything in those three bins.  Or maybe I’ll sell them at a yard sale next year.  It’s very freeing for me to not feel like I have to put all my regular stuff out this year.  Maybe this house finally feels like home and I no longer have to try so hard to create that seasonal warmth and feel that I’m after.  We haven’t lived in a house this long in years.  Or maybe I’m changing and I can only tolerate so much stuff in my house.

It’s perfectly wonderful to have a home fully decorated for Christmas, no matter what that means in this season for you.  I’m learning to realize what having a home that’s ready for the holidays means for our family right now.  And this year I embracing all the ways to get that Christmas feeling in our home; music {the classical Christmas channel on our TV is wonderful} food, tradition, gatherings, time, space, slowness, and items in our home that remind me of the true meaning of the season.

There is no wrong or right way to decorate especially when it’s done with purpose.

What are you doing differently this year?


  1. I could not agree more! I put out 6 mini white pumpkins for Halloween, a little teeny turkey statue thing for Thanksgiving, and now the thought of Christmas decor barfing all over my beautiful house freezes me with irritation. I told my husband I want nothing to do with the decorating and he agreed but we’re doing the tree for the kids and for the sake of tradition. I just want the nativity scene, our beautiful cross, and some lights. That’s all we need. The other stuff is just stuff. I begged my husband the other day to let us get a dumpster for our basement clean out. He said he can pile it all into his truck and take it to the dump. At least he’s willing! Can you tell that I married a reformed hoarder??!! Baby steps. :)

  2. When we got the Christmas decor out a few days ago, I was already thinking, “What can I give away or toss?” I meant to do this last year, but didn’t have the energy when it was time to put it away. This year, I’m gonna go through it all after I finish decorating this weekend. This way I can see what we’re not using and why. We do have vintage ornaments from family that I can’t bring myself to donate. I’m also saving a box for each of my children to have when they move on.

    We’re in a different house this Christmas and will be in a different one next Christmas…we move and rent a lot, like you. Our current home finally feels home-y to me and we’ll be moving at the end of February. So when I take down the Christmas decor I will also start packing for the move. I’m getting to be a real moving pro, like you too! While I want our home to have little touches of Christmas in each room, I’m also focused on keeping it simple rather than feeling like I have to decorate to the nines. I’m planning on doing that when we land in our dream home…one of these years. ;)

  3. I am so glad to read this post. After 25 years of putting up a 7.5 foot tree and wearing myself out decorating the entire house, I told my family I am not putting up the big tree, only one, maybe two of our 3 foot trees and maybe a little garland thrown in for good measure. My husband and daughter looked at me like I had grown another head. Who is this person? Mrs. Christmas doesn’t want to decorate? You hit the nail on the head. Nothing about my decorations excited me. Spending time with my family is more important to me than being preoccupied if anyone would be around to help me shlep everything up to the attic when the holidays are over. So, farewell ninety boxes of stuff I can’t remember I have and maybe when my daughter gets married in about 20 years and has grandkids, I get it all out (it will be vintage then, right). But, for now, I’d rather relax. Merry Christmas!

  4. Right there with you.

    I just can’t do the mega-decor anymore, be it Christmas or just every day.

    I find myself wanting to rid myself of more and more stuff. Not that I ever fancy myself being a *true* minimalist, but moving in that direction on the continuum.

    It’s a new world [decorating] order!

  5. I decided I couldn’t handle the big bulky garland this year either. So I opted for {free} greenery from my back yard and I’m in love. I change up my mantle each year. This year I went with a copper/green theme. Oh, and my coffee filter wreath makes me VERY happy, thanks to you!

  6. Thank you SO much for posting this article!!! Whatever is wrong with you (if anything) is wrong with me too. I can’t believe myself. The only decorations I can manage to get excited about are nativity sets and some very, very simple homemade things. I don’t even care if we put up a tree. That is just too weird for me. Until I read your post, I was weirding myself out. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Doing the tree with the kids was fun-ish. After spending an entire day trying to decorate my new mantle and being left with a design i HATED and a entire house turned upside down by the exploding Christmas bins, I was in the worst mood ever.

    Today I am taking down 70% of what I put up and throwing away everything else.

    exhale……… ahhhhhhh

    Christmas this year = clutter. yuck!

    I just love how you’ve styled for Christmas, Nester. Good on ya for inspiring us.

    Oh, and also, You were in my dream last night. You were digging a hole in my front yard. Were we going to plant a bush or tree? I am not sure. But you told me that you want to lose 9 pounds and I said, “ya know? me too!”.

    And that was about it! LOL


  8. AMEN SISTER! :-)

    I read something on another blog this morning that got me down, so it was very refreshing to read your post, right at this EXACT moment:

    “It’s perfectly wonderful to have a home fully decorated for Christmas, no matter what that means in this season for you…There is no wrong or right way to decorate especially when it’s done with purpose.”

    Thank you for always being so thoughtful, and for encouraging me to feel happy and enthusiastic again.

    You complete me.
    Layla :-)

  9. this has always been my dark secret, i hate the clutterness of christmas decorations. i would rather focus on the reason for the season than filling my house with stuff! i do it because my kids like it but they are getting older and it will become less and less!

  10. Nester,

    you just freed something on the inside of me. i guess that’s why i love ya so much.

  11. Nester!

    I’ve definitely done less this year, but it’s not what could ever be referred to as minimalist, LOL. HOWEVER – after seeing your rock, I went into the basement and got a few white rocks. Now I too have rocks with a white vase (filled with boxwood) on my dresser! I like the rock. There’s nothing wrong with a rock. Thanks for the idea of the rock. :) ~ karen

  12. For me too much stuff just bothers me. It doesn’t give me room to breathe. I have 6 boxes in the basement of stuff. My husband keeps buying more and I hate it. My mantra this year is less is more! Someone gave me a large poinsettia and hubby brought home 2 small ones. These are real plants not one more from China. I put those around, my creche scene, a real wreath with one Cardinal decoration and I feel like I am almost done. Come Spring I will sneak most of the extra stuff out of the house to Goodwill:) Less is more…more space, more flow and less distractions. susan

  13. Yes! I have been heading this direction for years and am so happy to hear other women voice the same…..the decorations irritated me also….it just looked like clutter to me… two years ago I got rid of the big artificial tree that I despised putting together. We had a small fresh tree last year and this year I bought a small pre-lit tree… is December 7 and there’s not an ornament to be found on it! I love the simplicity of the greenery and the ambience of the white lights. My many boxes of ornaments have become a heavy weight….I will not be getting them out this year. I plan to keep only the ones of greatest significance….First Christmas Together, baby’s first Christmas, etc and display them in one clear glass container…..a green wreath on the front door and I’m finished and so very FREE to focus on growing closer to God and sharing His love with my family!

  14. minimalism, maybe. contentment, definitely. that’s what i hear in your words. deep peace with who you are and contentment with the way things are. i admire this greatly.

  15. You told me what I was feeling before I realized it! I am in my new (possibly forever) house and still trying to get drapes hung and pictures up and the idea of all my Christmas decorations coming out is filling me with dread. My husband was the one who brought the boxes up, which NEVER happens. So I plan to do what you did, do the tree and maybe some small changes here and there and then just let it go. Enjoy the season. Enjoy the family. Enjoy the time.

    Thank you.

  16. You are giving words to what is in my heart and everyone else’s comments just validate what I sense. I believe I am just beginning the journey from seeing a use for everything to wanting to just look at only what I love (read “hoarder to near minimalist”) If these things begin on the inside first then I am indeed beginning. I already feel lighter … though it will be a long journey.

  17. aw, honey… i’m just trying to clean my house this year. {snicker, snicker, snicker}
    your home looks divine, and simpicity in itself is a theme, right? and not an annoying one, not to me, anyway.
    merry simple christmas to you and yours.

  18. Yea! Not alone! Thought I was a little too crazy that I have been wishing the christmas decor could just simply go with the house decor already and not mess everything up and I see I am not alone! Looks so serene in your place and yet touches of the spirit of winter and holidays. Love it.

  19. Hey there! Love your blog…I want to do something in my dining room like your white plates above your couch. Where did you find those?

  20. Haha, I have taken to using a few rock here and there in my decor this year; mostly because my 4 year-old little boy keeps bringing them in from the yard and insisting they stay on the table/dresser/whatever. His “contributing” to the decor of our home is more important to me than the fact that I have rocks randomly scattered around. :-) I went rather minimalist [for myself] this year too.

  21. i did not relate to this post at all two years ago, but it feels like you pulled it straight out of my soul this year. thank God for archives!!! you make neurotic o.k. ;)

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.