Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Forgive me, Martha Stewart: I hate to decorate

It's autumn in New England, and people in my little town started breaking out the fall decorations the moment the first maple leaf turned red. Nylon banners hang near doors, mailboxes are festooned with fall colors, and pretty little pumpkins sit charmingly on old stone walls.

But not at my house:

I feel like I should make the effort to festoon the house with ghouls and goblins -- or at least pumpkins and bales of hay.

Oh sure, as we get closer to Halloween, I'll scoop the brains out of a pumpkin or two, carve eye holes and a crooked mouth, and set a tealight inside and call it good, and there will be plenty of candy for little trick-or-treaters, but don't count on any splendid decorations, because, truth be told, I don't have the time. But, also, I don't have the inclination. Forgive me, Martha Stewart, for I have sinned: I don't decorate.

That's not quite true: I happily hang ornaments on a spruce tree for Christmas, and I set single (electric) candles at each of the windows post Thanksgiving and hang stockings for each child by the fireplace on Christmas Eve, but that's more for the sake of tradition than anything else. In general, I don't decorate. I don't have an eye for it, or the patience, or, frankly, the budget to hire someone else to do it for me.

This goes beyond changing the look of the house with the seasons. Picking paint colors paralyzes me; I would be quite happy to paint every room in the house some shade of white and then hang art everywhere, except that I don't end up hanging art anywhere. I'm serious; we moved into our current home in 2001 and I only got around to repainting the kids' bedrooms last year and haven't hung a thing on the master bedroom walls. Luckily for us (and for our neighbors), my can-do-anything husband picked up some mad styling skilz somewhere along the road; it is thanks to him that there are big puffs of mums on the front porch and pictures hanging in the living room and a centerpiece on the table at Thanksgiving.

I see shows on TV and read articles in family- or women-oriented magazines about decorating on a dime and cool color schemes and fantastic holiday knick-knacks, and I understand that I'm supposed to love to decorate. I'm supposed to get tired of the same-old look and long for something new, something trendy; I'm supposed to wonder how to make my family room pretty yet practical. I know people who routinely repaint walls or move furniture or even, shockingly, redesign entire rooms on a whim -- you walk into their homes and it never looks the same way twice.

I don't really understand this.

So, when the topic turns to redoing one's living room because August has morphed into September, or searching for special china for a single meal, or decorating one's mailbox for each holiday? I REALLY don't understand this.

Someone explain it to me... do you redecorate with the seasons? Why or why not?


Cant Hardly Wait said...

I don't decorate, either. It's okay.

Rick Falls said...

Hi Lylah, I enjoyed your blog post about being frugal.

I think the simpler we keep it, the easier it is.

We're trying to encourage and nourish our children and ourselves that a great way to be better off financially is to focus on what you love and what you have.

Finding ways, or even better creating ways to increase your income by providing solutions to the many problems that exist in this amazing time we live in will set each of us free to live our best lives.

Our children deserve better programming than we may have had, and they should know that there are always many more solutions than there are problems.

If they see and feel us scrimping just to get by we're teaching them that "that's the way it is" and generationally we continue the financial struggle.

I wish you the best of luck and more opportunities worthy of you.

Take care, Rick Falls www.whymembershipsitesrock.com

Stay focused on your own big picture!

Unknown said...

I love to decor seasonally. Just a few touches in the home - hubby hates too much stuff.
Our assistant manager decorates the office. I just purchase what I like and leave him to it.