Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simplify, Schimplify

It's all the rage this Christmas. The watchword of the season. No, it's not some hot new toy or electronic gadget I'm talking about. It's: "Simplify."

I spent a little time waiting in the doctor's office yesterday to get a new antibiotic to finally squash this cough I've had for three weeks now. Surprisingly, there were a number of current magazines to flip through while I waited for an hour.

I looked at page after page of beautiful trees, gorgeous mantels, and chic centerpieces for the table. And almost every article waxed poetic about "simplifying" so we can take time to keep the spirit of the season.

I'm all for simplifying, but my idea of simple and the home magazine editors' ideas of simple are worlds apart.

Sure, that centerpiece of cranberries, oranges and pomegranates is fast and easy if you just happen to have a few antique compotes or glass hurricanes on hand. I think the effect would be lost a bit if I used my eclectic Tupperware collection.

Looking for a cool, free way to decorate your Christmas tree? Why, walk through your neighborhood and find some sticks and pinecones! Just spray them with glitter or craft snow and arrange them in your Christmas tree.

Let me just say, unless you have an eye for decorating, this idea is a guaranteed disaster. The tree in the magazine looked like, well, a tree in a magazine. Such an attempt in my house would more likely conjure images of a porcupine than a glamorous holiday decorating statement. Not to mention that walking through my neighborhood collecting nature's bounty with four small children in tow is anything but simple!

The magazines' simple mantels showed nature-inspired garlands, made by the homeowner, of course, and color-coordinated decorations piled in the homeowner's red and white stoneware collection. Yep. I'll get right on making that garland and collecting my stoneware.

What's wrong with hanging the stockings and throwing a little store-bought garland on the mantel? Now that's simple!

This Christmas my mantra is not: "Simplify." It is: "Prioritize." 

To get some holiday things done around here, something else will have to give. I'm sure the kids won't mind a few meals of Christmas cookies, since they often don't eat what I serve them anyway. And who needs both lights and ornaments on the tree? No need to gild the lily, after all. Without hesitation I choose decorating over cleaning. That's only logical. The decorations will hide the dust.

The second half of my mantra is "Ignore." That's about trying to tune out the magazines, and remain calm and focused under the pressure of elaborate lighting displays and early Christmas cards all around me. As a bonus, "Ignore" neatly handles anything on the priority list that doesn't get done. And that's a Christmas gift for me!

© Trippin' Mama 2010


Anonymous said...

You are soo funny! I too look in those magazines with the trees with the ribbon and the mantles and those centerpieces and I think to myself......who has pomegrantes lying around...and if I did I surely would be making a martini not a ornamental urn ornament! I say skip the centerpieces, while the look pretty, who can fit those and the food. Simplify! Keep writing because you are so down to earth I love to read about it!

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Anonymous, you just made my day. Thanks for your nice words, and for reading.

And now I want a pomegranate martini.

Amy Lore said...

I just love you, Christy. Just need to find a way to decorate my living room carpet so I can ignore the dirt there too!

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Amy, I'm sure we can start a trend of carpet decoration just for the holidays.

Sprinkle a little glitter and fake snow, shape those dust bunnies into some woodland creatures, and tell people you're creating a winter wonderland.

Martha Stewart would be so proud.