Simple holiday decorations bring more meaning to the season

It’s amazing how many holiday decorations one collects over the years. They’re often impulse purchases that are just “too cute” to pass up, but years later you find yourself asking “why did I buy this?”

Over the last few years my wife and I have gone through our collection – eliminating a great deal of those impulse purchases. But they never go to waste as charitable organizations and family members typically benefit from these items that are still like-new, just not for us. 0266ac7f3b06c9e12d916d1d08ad7995

But this year my wife and I went one step further by choosing to decorate our home – inside and out – minimally.

Instead of adorning every square inch of our home with holiday decor, this year we picked a handful of favorite items and tastefully spread them throughout the house – moving very little of our every-day decorations to accommodate them.

The result is a simple yet elegant feeling of the holidays. In fact we couldn’t imagine utilizing our entire collection – it seems like it would just be too much.

This year’s minimalistic approach reminded me of my beloved grandmother. Every year I would go over her apartment and help her put strands of lights in the front window and a few timeless decorations in her living room. One such decoration I always admired was her ceramic Christmas tree.

It stood about 20 inches tall and was painted in the most beautiful evergreen hue with just the right amount of sheen to the finish. It featured dozens of tiny little “pegs” which were inserted into holes at the tips of each branch. A lamp attached to the base illuminated each dazzling multi-colored peg perfectly. I always enjoyed setting it up and gazing at the tiny tree, which grams kept on a small round table with a red and white cloth draped over it.

I always had such a wonderful time decorating with grams as her little helper – times I thought about this year as my wife and I decorated our home. She had a tiny apartment and yet what little decorations she had still brought about a warm feeling of the holidays. It’s funny, but that’s how I feel this year. The simplicity of our decorating efforts feels almost peaceful in a way – more meaningful.

This is a time of year when the hustle and bustle of the holiday leaves everyone anxious and even angry. But maybe this is the year to simplify – even if that means nothing more than a ceramic Christmas tree as the centerpiece.