Why I’ll Never Be a Seasonal Decorator

published Nov 27, 2015
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(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

Fall is the time when decorations come out, and they seem to change every few weeks. My blog roll is full of suggestions for how to decorate the mantel, how to add holiday lighting, and where to put all the decorative gourds—but I’ve never been that big on seasonal decorating. Here’s why…

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Now, I’m no Ebenezer Scrooge, shouting, “Humbug!” at the nearest person who will listen. I quite like it when others get in a festive spirit, as long as it really brings them joy. My stance on seasonal decorating is mine and mine alone, and I’m not telling you that you should stop decking your halls.

But I’ve never really gotten the seasonal decorating thing, and here are a few reasons why:

I don’t have kids, and I do have pets. I have really fond memories from my childhood of carving pumpkins, hanging stockings, making ornaments, and all the other things that come along with seasonal decorating. But as an adult, I realize what a chore it was for my mom to lug, unload, unbox, assemble, and decorate, and I think that I would be just as happy spending some time with her over cocoa and a holiday movie as going through all that rigamarole. For kids, the holidays are full of magic, and decorations amplify that, but as I got older, I realized that the decorations were peripheral to my feelings about the holidays. That’s not to say that you have to have kids in order to enjoy decorating, or that if you do have kids and don’t decorate, you’re ruining your kids’ memories. It’s just that my feelings changed as I got older.

Also, I have two rambunctious pit bulls who give new meaning to the phrase “like a bull in a china shop.” Even the small Christmas tree that we put up every year in my family is fodder for accidental destruction.

I’ve lived in small spaces. I lived in studio apartments for about 10 years, so having extra storage for decorations was never much of an option. Now I live in a larger space, but even still, I tend to give my precious storage to things that I use more regularly, like craft supplies and camping gear.

I don’t want to spend the money. I’m a fairly frugal person, and when I see seasonal decor aisles at the store, a switch goes off in my brain, such that I don’t even see the wares on offer. It seems temporary, so I don’t want to spend money on it. Now, I’ll admit, this isn’t always rational. If you buy an ornament and use it every year for fifteen years, you’ve probably gotten more use out of it than I have gotten out of some of the thrift store vases I’ve bought over the years. Plus, I fully recognize that temporary things often have the power to bring immense joy. This is just some weird snap judgment that my mind makes.

I don’t want to spend the energy. Putting up all those decorations takes a lot of time and energy! I feel lucky if I’m on top of the cleaning for the week, never mind switching out my garlands between fall and winter. Many people treat decorating as a way to get into the holiday spirit, but it’s always just seemed more like a chore to me. I’ve never wanted to spend hours putting decorations up only to take them down a couple of weeks later.

I have this weird thing with pumpkins. Okay, so this one may be kind of humbug-y of me—I’ll admit it. I have this weird thing about decorative gourds, particularly pumpkins: they’re food, and yet we leave them outside to rot. I won’t get on a rant about the environment or food policy or food waste or any of that, but I will admit that there’s something strange to me about buying food, setting it out as decor, and then discarding it once it’s gone bad. This is my own weirdness, and I recognize that, so don’t think that I’m secretly mounting a crusade to take away your Jack O’Lanterns.

While I don’t decorate seasonally per se, I do find ways to commune with the season. I’ll splurge on a new, spicy candle, add some throw blankets, and/or stock up on cider!

What about you? Are you a seasonal decorator? Why or why not?