Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Fashion, Memories, and Mayhem

This Week's Schedule of Posts:
Monday: Fashion - Heather
Tuesday: Food - Sheila
Wednesday: Frugality - Ann
Thursday: Furnishings - Heather
Friday: Fun - Ann

November 26, 2012

by Heather

Polka dot sequined sweater: J Crew; black and white striped shirt: J Crew; bracelets: Ann Taylor, Chicos

As you can see, I'm praying for a miracle, hoping that a sweet Christmas angel will sweep into my home and take care of the detritus behind me. And that mess is fairly indicative of the state of the rest of the house, which brings me to the first question:

When is a woman too old to put up Christmas decorations all over the house?

Is it the same age she stops dyeing her hair (something I'm not ready to do yet)? Or gives up the fight against creeping post-menopausal spread (may have already done that)?  Does anyone else out there have this question?  Don't get me wrong -- I love Christmas and all of the sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday, but at this exact time of the year, when I've just taken down the autumn decor and still have leaves (and they're not even real ones) scattered on the floor, and the living room is piled high with Christmas items ready to be worked into vignettes, I feel a little tired and a bit overwhelmed.  Is this a sign that I've reached the age when it's time to start simplifying?  Or do I just need to drink the tea that is sitting beside me getting cold while I'm lamenting this situation?  I read the blogs of the women who already have their decorations up (before Thanksgiving), and I wonder how they do it!

Two years ago, I didn't go all out as I usually do -- Tom was recovering from a Halloween day motorcycle crash that landed him in the hospital for almost a month and a wheelchair for four months.  He couldn't climb the stairs to the master bedroom and his wheelchair wouldn't fit through the corners to the downstairs guest room, so the guest bedroom got moved out to the family room.  His recuperation was most important and caring for a semi-invalid put a limit to what I could accomplish.

But it was still Christmas, because family and friends came over and brought with them their love and support while they pitched in to make the house handicap-friendly and helped with Tom's traditional Christmas Eve seafood chowder while he supervised from his wheelchair and bed.  I know that we're two of the lucky ones -- we have a wonderful family and very dear friends, and Tom recovered from his injuries.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those of you who are dealing with far worse than what we had that Christmas.

I've had several cups of tea now, my energy is returning and I'm ready to tackle the decorating once again. I know it's not what Christmas is really all about, but I do love the warmth and magic that comes from the sight of twinkling white lights, the sheen of silver and gold, and the scent of cinnamon and pine, so I'm thinking, "At least one more year..."

Black straight leg jeans: Chicos; nude and black shoes: Dillards last year

Earrings; Chicos

Are you buying the idea that I'm wearing high heels and sparkling earrings to do this work?  I'm channeling the housewives of the 1950s who always dressed in pearls to wash their floors.  Actually, hubby said that the cast-off exercise clothes and clogs (Dansko -- fabulous if you're going to spend a lot of time on your feet) were probably not suitable for the fashion segment of the blog.  He did offer to take a picture of me bending over while digging into boxes -- bringing to mind the saying that "spandex is not a right; it's a privilege."

Last year's decor -- what will I change; what will I keep the same? Decisions, decisions.

From the guest bedroom looking out to sunshine and mountains

Actually, once changed back into the comfie clothes, I'm part way through unpacking the storage cartons, and having a great time. It's a little like Santa has already been to my house -- I'm finding items I forgot I owned or bought at the end of last season and haven't used yet, but the best part is pulling out things that remind me of the person who gave it to me.  There's the dear little silver reindeer dish from Ann that she filled with her homemade caramels (hope she makes those again this year, and while I'm on this subject, I hope Cathy makes her Scottish shortbread, too). I unearthed the sweet silver nutcracker salt and pepper shakers from Sheila for our 25th wedding anniversary (Tom and I married on Boxing Day, December 26th, and will be celebrating 41 years this year).

Here is one of my favorites from last year.  It's a set of measuring cups from Anthropologie.

Of course, I've been shopping this year, too, and here are some of my new finds that will need to be worked into the mix.  I shop all places -- Target, Nordstrom, Z Gallerie, Anthropologie, Tuesday Morning, the Decor Store, and local shops Willows Home and Garden, On the Veranda, Rustic Stuff, Scottsdale Marketplace (38 showrooms under one roof), and the French Bee.

Question:  Should I spray the entire antler(s) gold or spray just a band of gold on each one?

It will all come together in good time.  I just need to relax and let it happen, and stop writing and get back to work.  Wishing you a wonderful start to the holiday season! Join me again on Thursday when I will hopefully have pictures of this year's Christmas decor.

P.S. Three more questions:
1. Is less really more?
2. If it's organized, can it still be called "hoarding?"
3. Am I fooling myself in pursuing the retirement dream of living in an RV?  Which actually brings me to a fourth question, "How many trailers can an RV pull?"


  1. Hi Heather, I just found you through Visible Monday and I love your polka dots. I put up my decorations this past weekend and I love them! May I never feel too old to decorate! My family still expects it and I think they always will. It took me all day on Saturday, but it was well worth it! I think if you get as much joy from it as i do,then keep it going. If it is just a hassle and robs your it up! Hope you will stop by my blog and say hello!

    1. Thanks for visiting our site, Pam. I stop by your blog frequently -- love it! Your daughter is so beautiful, just glowing with her pregnancy. I still do get joy out of decorating, but I do have that initial moment of "what the heck am I doing??!!!" And the weather has been so glorious here that I find I want to be outside -- maybe I should start with the outside decorating first??

  2. I really enjoyed this post, Heather and your honest reflections on the decorating thing. (you bought some beautiful additions this year!). And wow, those are some fabulous heels, for not standing too long in : > Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday.

    1. Patti, I love visiting your blog and getting great tips for dressing fashionably. Thanks for doing the link party!

  3. Nope, if it is organized, it is definitely not hoarding (at least in my book of rules.) Your house looks lovely. That view of the mountains is divine.
    Looks like you are a Chico's girl like Pam and me. Your outfit is really pretty and your bangles are great accents.

    1. Thanks for your input, Debbie. I don't want to be a guest on one of those hoarder reality shows, and I was getting worried.
      Isn't Chico's the best?! I can always find something there that I didn't even know I wanted.

  4. I LOVE your new finds. Living in an apartment I can never accumulate too much. We just run out of room.

    Great sweater. I just ordered one exactly like it from Kohl's.

    1. I need to start spending more time at Kohls! They have a lot of good merchandise but I don 't remember to go there. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Love your sweater and all your Christmas decor! I sometimes wonder why I get it out every year?? I love it but boy is it work!

    1. Thank you, Cyndi. We just have to remember that it"s fun to do this...or maybe drink more wine while we're working so hard!

  6. love the anthro measuring cups! tres chic
    Xo Megan,

    1. Hi your black and white outfit that's featured in your blog today (Tues).

  7. What a great post!
    I'm getting pretty lazy about decorating for Christmas....yes, I think it's the age thing. Hubby's ready to pull out the "stuff" and I said no, no...not yet. Good gosh, I'm still recuperating from Thanksgiving meals & travels.
    I always decorate with heels..doesn't everyone? ;)
    You look wonderful in your polka dots!

    1. Thanks, Jeannie. Tell your hubby that I'm pretty impressed that he's the one ready to go on the Christmas decorating!

  8. I know it seems overwhelming at first to start dragging out all of the decorations and trying to find some semblance to it all. It looks like your home is going to be very pretty based on the decorations you're pulling out to use. I do think we tend to do less as we get older. The holidays become more about the people we share it with more than just the bling on our mantel.

    1. Hi Kelly,
      You said the magic word "bling." Just typing it gets me excited(strange what gets you going in "old" age), but you're right that the holidays become more about the people than the "stuff."

  9. Hello- First visit here! RE: Menopause spread! LOL... I think there is a before, during and after spread! Energy...yep that get's sucked out of you too! I was lucky that hubby offered to haul up my containers and I got a little earlier start than usual on decorating. Taking time to think it through and enjoy it is how I approached it... until all of a sudden it was Weds. and Thanksgiving was on my doorstep! So I suddenly had to hustle!
    I like your Christmas deco and look forward to seeing what you do with it! I just posted a new bit of mine today! Btw I like your sweater!! Bling is one of the best words isn't it!!

    1. Hi Liz - I visited your blog earlier today and loved your style! I am impressed that your husband offered to haul up your containers, although I try to rationalize that if I do the work, it counts as an exercise program. So far, no results to speak of other than a sore back.