I spent much of this month in quiet *internal* contemplation. To start, there was lots of debating with myself but eventually the debates gave way to an exercise in finding joy… and really, what held the most joy of all!
What am I talking about? Well, the Great Christmas Decorating of 2022 (and beyond!)
And all this thought showed me that while some “things” help usher in the season, it is really more than that. And so today I will begin my decorating with a much pared down list…so much pared down!
And I confess… I am a bit nervous. Sort of like that feeling you have when you know you are forgetting something, and don’t realize what it was until you get to your destination. If it is *absolutely necessary* you go and buy a replacement and you have a wonderful time or you realize that you did not really need that something and you have a wonderful time.
Either way – I will have a wonderful time. And if I find that something is *absolutely* necessary, I can get it out!
And in the midst of all this angst, I realized that my year of pondering a full life was….well realized!
Living a full life means choices. Saying yes to things… and saying an equal number (if not more) of no’s as well!
Living a full life means having priorities… but ones that are not set in stone so that when something intriguing appears on your radar, you can switch gears and try it! (Watercolor Painting… I am looking at you here!)
And, perhaps best of all, living a full life means that at the end of the day, the week, the month, the year… you can look back and know that you did all the *absolutely necessary* parts and, most importantly, you had a wonderful time!
Oh… and for those wondering about those things that “made the cut” for my holiday decorating… here is my brief but spectacular list:
- Outside lights, because Christmas is something to share.
- The Christmas Tree… singular. One with lights, because Dark December, but with only those ornaments that hold the most special place in my heart.
- One candle on the dinner table (it is out already!)
- My Year of Gnomes gracing my mantel. I did pick up one fun NEW thing for this last Gnome… stay tuned for peeks into how they are all anticipating her arrival!
Finally, I want to thank Carolyn for hosting us all to share our Word Inspiration. Each month I am amazed at what you all teach me as you work through your word.
I have one final month to contemplate Full… and I am so excited about how I am going to close out this year!
See you all back here on Wednesday for a Welcome to December Unraveled!
This is wonderful, Kat! A few years ago I did the same thing, deciding what was important and what could go. I decorate outside (a little), do one tree (because that’s one of my favorite things), and that’s pretty much it. I hope we will also get to see your gnomes soon (they are also one of my favorite things)!
I’m with Bonny, yes please to seeing all the gnomes. I couldn’t agree more with what you say about Christmas, go with the things that make you and the family happy.
Yes indeed!! Sounds like a great plan Kat. I will miss having a tree this year (since we are leaving town)…but we are excited to be doing something different for the holidays and for being with Colin & Mailing. I wanted to get a few things out for our buffet, but decided against that since it was obvious that Mabel was on the buffet in the Fall when we were on vacation (things tipped over, etc.). Candles are out (because we eat by candlelight usually November – March). It’s nice to not be crazy, huh?
I hope your pared down Christmas decorating leaves you feeling full of joy! I have 3 full sized trees but only one gets decorations, the other two are just lights and I leave them up until February.
I think you’ve come to a very profound realization here — that having a full life does not mean having a life filled with everything. And I think you’ve come to it at a perfect time, because I know so many people who feel completely overwhelmed by all they feel they have to do during the holiday season. I think you are smart to stick to what brings you the most joy.
For many years I did simplify and it felt fantastic and good. last year and this year I switched to putting up two trees again (instead of one) and that feels good. I’ve been trying to throw away broken ornaments and decorations (even the ones my mother made…ugh). ‘does this bring me joy’ ‘can someone else use this’
I am in a good place and hope to continue to pare down the excess.
The excitement in your voice is contagious, Kat! (I thought of you when I plugged in my vintage snowman on the porch last night.) I love your mindset–this pared down, full embrace of the season. I get a sense that, in your decorating, you are creating space for a *full* experience–vs a full house. Wishing you a wonderful one. (Can’t wait to see the mantel…)
I agree with Carolyn, a full life during the holidays doesn’t necessary depend upon a long list or a full house. I think the older we get, the wiser we become about such things. You sound so content with where you are and that is a very good thing. I look forward to seeing those gnomes. I love their whimsy. My living room and dining area are officially dusted and ready for the gradual appearance of a few favorite things.
I love that you spent the time to think about what is really joyful for you. And I hope you’re sharing a picture of your gnome mantel because I love what you’ve been working on this year!
Also, we only do outside lights and one tree with just lights, no ornaments (for a myriad of reasons). I do ZERO inside decoration, other than the tree. The thought of decorating for a specific season or holiday makes me feel exhausted!
I went through a major “paring down” of my Christmas decor the year my mom died . . . and I haven’t looked back since. I didn’t get rid of anything (or . . . much), so like you’ve just mentioned . . . I CAN get things out if I decide I want them. But mostly, I haven’t. My “bare minimum” is now mostly lots of lights and candles, and then my favorite things on the mantle. It feels just right! And I can’t WAIT to see your gnomes. They’re going to be magical. XO