The holidays are just around the proverbial corner and no doubt that old familiar feeling is beginning to creep up on you: the heady excitement and nostalgia of seasons past, all rolled into one. For some people, unfortunately, this results in gaudily decorated homes, outpacing even the intended holiday itself. For as wonderful as the holidays can be, if a person overdoes it, not only do they look a bit seasonally screwy, they also run the risk of losing the true feeling of the holiday itself. Decorations done tastefully hone one’s focus back to the celebrations’ original intentions, and the charmingly simple options that follow will help do just that.
Creepy jack-o-lanterns, eerie ghosts, and scary skeletons are just some of the spooky imagery conjured up by the fun and frightening Halloween season. When choosing decorations it is best to stick with accents that emphasize the otherworldly. Decorations popular now can sometimes miss that mark, however. What exactly is one trying to convey with a Halloween ornament tree? To merely showcase baubles that are black and orange in color upon a twiggy tree fail to do justice for the spirits and ghouls walking the earth on the 31st of the month. Conjure up real chills by cutting ghostly shapes out of cheesecloth and attaching them to your windows, spooking passersby with your very own poltergeists. Or perhaps carve a traditionally toothsome face into a pumpkin and place it on your porch to delight trick-or-treaters. Let people’s imaginations do the work.
Another popular holiday revelers tend to overshoot their decorating is Thanksgiving. Although irony has its place, that an event originally centering around the minimalist Pilgrims has now turned into one of harvest excess is nothing to be celebrated. The first Thanksgiving dinner was one of peacemaking and sharing between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims. The two groups were brought together by the conservative bounty of the land long ago that they were obligated to share. Nature provides all of the necessary inspiration for this holiday’s decorations and even the materials themselves, with colorful gourds and Indian corn. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what one has, not seeking out more to be only seasonally thankful for.
In keeping with the unfortunate seasonal theme of being swept up in irreverence, Christmas is notorious for being the annual number one victim of commercialization. For traditionalists with every intention of celebrating the yuletide for its original religious purposes, there is hardly any worse way to do so than by incorporating one of the terrifying motorized blow-up Christmas scenes within one’s yard decor. A more appropriately tasteful way to celebrate the season is to employ subtle touches that invoke a festive feel. The classic Christmas tree, emblazoned in soft lights, meaningful ornaments, and topped off with a bright star or chaste angel do much to project the Noel mood. Pine garlands, cheerful door wreaths, and welcoming electric candles within windows all help convey the feeling of peace on Earth and goodwill towards men.
When celebrating the holidays, people would do well to remember that bigger does not mean best and more expensive does not mean more effective at getting one’s holiday mood across. The mischief-filled spookiness of Halloween, the peaceful unified calm of Thanksgiving, and the magical spirit of Christmas are at their very core more than enough. The decorations should not detract from their message; they should enhance their charm.
Guest writer Annie Sullivan enjoys the holidays and loves to coordinate the decorating of her office building by visiting Santa’s Quarters for beautiful artificial trees and unique commercial Christmas decorations.