Pictures of the house decorated for the holidays remind me of my best laid plans. Years ago, I decided that every Christmas I would make one nice new decoration. One year it was a living room wreath. Another it was window swags. And then there was the year I saw garlands hanging around the doorways in the swanky stores in Geneva (Illinois, not Switzerland) and wanted some of those gorgeous things for myself. So I made two, full of ribbons and glass balls and silk poinsettias. they were, and are, beautiful, though they are showing their age.
Then something happened. Life. Three active kids suddenly meant that the last time I handmade anything was sometime in the early Clinton administration. Plus, doorway swags and endless strings of lights and wreaths made my Christmas boxes take up more storage area than a space shuttle parked in our basement. And I was starting to begrudge the time it took to put it all out rather than enjoy the season. Something was wrong in Whoville.
The part of me that wanted my house to be like the houses in the magazines collided with the part that knew sanity was the better part of happiness. So amid the pictures in later years, you'll see less décor (and fewer boxes). A focus on what is most important to me (my nativity set and angel collections). Not much handmade in quite a while. Unless you count 4H projects. But those were made by hands other than my own and are therefore more special.
For two years, I've let slide the annual cookie party. Am I turning into a slacker? I prefer to believe I'm just focusing on what really brings us joy rather than what seems necessary for some external reason we can't even label. For 2011, I leave you with this:
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~Lin Yutang