Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dear Daughters: Christmas Decorating Thoughts and Tips

Christmas on the Piano
Christmas on the Piano 2015

Dear Daughters-
As young adult women who all work ‘outside’ the home- as well as ‘inside the home’ - there isn’t a single feeling about decorating for Christmas that you have had that I haven’t felt as well.
It can feel rewarding and satisfying and stimulating . It checks all of our creativity boxes.
Yet truth be told, when it is December , and you have research papers coming in that need to be graded , or too many court cases and clients to handle, or book fairs to organize, it can feel a little overwhelming and exhausting.
This is a seasonal challenge sweet girls. Don’t let it get you down. There are after all ,all of those crates in our respective garages that hold treasures we so want to share with our families and friends.
Christmas Mantel 2015
Christmas Mantel 2015

Here are a few things that have helped me over the years.
* Play Christmas music and not just while you are decorating. Play it in the car too. Play it in your classroom, play it in your library,play it in your office.
It creates the ‘want to’- sometimes accompanied by a sweet touch of melancholy at times- but that will pass. Embrace that melancholy, have a good cry, turn up the volume and plan your front door wreathe.
* Learn to make a fluffy bow with wired ribbon that is patterned on both sides. This is a game changer. Thank you Mary Jo Brisnahan (a dear friend and teaching colleague) for teaching me how to make a bow about 20 years ago . That and her Sparkle Salad which has graced our holiday table for just as long places her in our family’s hall of fame.
Women of my generation are great fans of volume. A voluminous bow adds life to anything (even your hair) that has been packed in a crate, stored in the garage in our year long South Texas heat.
Try to find ribbon that is patterned on both sides. You will have to do less twisting if you can.
* Skinny, inexpensive garland is the easiest to handle for a slinger like me. I have purchased expensive, fat garlands, and they are indeed beautiful. Once I wrestled their garland extravagance to my mantle, the minute my back was turned, all sorts of whiplashing and crashing usually occurs. Find a garland of the lazy, low expectation variety.
Christmas Den Tree 2015
Christmas Tree in the Den 2015
* Remember that sometimes trees are easier and give more bang for your buck. I have received some teasing for this on those years when I have had as many as 4 trees at Christmas. Do what floats your boat.
Teacher Christmas Party2
My Annual Ladies Only Teachers’ Christmas Party 2008

* Plan a small party- ladies only. It is the perfect way to usher in this glorious season. The laughter and the ‘I get you-you get me’ that results is immeasurable. And yes in that photo above that is an enormous container of margaritas on the rocks- provided by my dear friend and yours- Anna. It is her secret recipe , which is just as well- you won’t remember it anyway. My annual teacher parties at Christmas and at the end of each school year still make me smile. And yes, the red walls and the rooster are now gone.

I love you. As you know, I am going through things, including my Christmas decorations.
You each have a pile. The rest is up to you.

I love you,

Linking to:


Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Great advice Mom!!! I start playing Cmas music as soon as Thanksgiving is over and listen to it continually. Always enjoy stopping by!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

What great advice, Laura! If everyone can remember this, the holidays will be a lot more enjoyable!

Blondie's Journal said...

I love your tips, Laura. As a mother of two girls (as you know), let's just say with a wink and a smile...they aren't going to listen to any of this. And that's exactly why we will always be queen.


Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Laura,
Encouraging, timely, wise adivce.
Being the seasoned women that we are, we know some tips and tricks to manage this most wonderous time of the year!
Beautiful home and beautiful you!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh my, that huge jug of margaritas -- the REAL "Christmas spirit," amiright? LOL

Stacey said...

I love this Laura! For those of us (ME!) who get overwhelmed by Christmas, this is much needed advice. Too much perfection out there in this world. Give me some skinny garland and yes I'd love a margarita too! ♥

Lincuden Cottage Life said...

Wonderful tips Laura! I listening to Christmas music non stop and find it so uplifting! Your house looks gorgeous! I love how you've incorporated black and white into the decor! Really pretty! ;)


Shannon @ Belle Bleu Interiors said...

Laura, what great advice this morning! I love your Dear Daughter's post. It always makes me smile! I hope that you have a wonderful day!!!

Creations By Cindy said...

I always enjoy your daughter talks being a mom of three daughters myself. You always make me smile. Yes, even in most hectic of times during the busy season Christmas music always soothes my soul. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Katie Mansfield said...

Wonderful post. My brother taught me how to make those ribbons. Your tree is gorgeous. I'm in the process of getting ready for our teachers only party next Tuesday night. It is going to be fun!
Thanks for sharing!

Jeanie said...

I love your Dear Daughters, posts. But they just as well be titled Dear Daughters and Friends, for your advice always resonates with me! I couldn't agree more with your tips -- and I hope your party this year includes those margaritas because oh, that sounds very, very good!

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Totally agree with your advice, Laura, but I'm not sure my own grown daughters would listen were I to give it! Hopefully yours will because it's spot-on--especially the two-sided wired ribbon trick. :-)

Cecilia said...

Haha, if only my grown children would listen! Great advice, Laura. Here's to embracing it all!

Unknown said...

Did you ever solve the mystery of the missing ham from the 2005 Christmas Party?

handmade by amalia said...

How sweet and clever, mom.

S H Elliott said...

Excellent advice! Like you...been there! I use wreathes with big bows! If I become too decrepit to put up trees, I hope to still be able to deck the house with wreathes. Ha!

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Leslie Harris said...

You are so fun and clever and wise!! And this dear daughters letter is the perfect example. I was smiling all the way through and thinking at the end how nice to have girls. BTW--I drive everyone around here nuts with my Christmas music. Men. They don't get it.
PS I love Jane's comment, isn't she the best? I want to be a queen too!

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Gypsy Heart said...

I love these posts! I do believe that all of us benefit from them. :) The photos are beautiful and yes, I'd love a margarita!


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