One of the questions I have asked myself is "Do I decorate or not?".  Remembering all the years that I took the greatest pleasure in having not one room void of holiday cheer is a good memory.  I enjoyed doing it inside-outside--from top to bottom.  LONG hours of decorating and always searching for new and different.  It was fun---the kids and then the grands enjoyed it and still remember their favorite things.  Pumpkins, ornamental corn, gourds, fall leaves, berries and on and on for Thanksgiving. Garlands, pine cones, trees, lights, reindeer, Santa's, boots, sleighs, holly, another long list of decorations for Christmas.  What should all of that look like in my new normal?  

First---who are you decorating for?  If you have a house full of friends and family and you enjoy decorating, then by all means continue the tradition.  If it is just you--leaving for the holidays--just not in the mood---there is NO rule that says you have to decorate.  Two years ago--I was NOT in the mood--and was not going to be home for Christmas.  I did not even get the boxes out of the attic---not even a Charlie Brown tree.  Here I am two years later telling you there was no permanent mental damage done and I do not regret not decorating that year.

Last year I was in my sweet little home in the French Quarter.  I decorated --knowing I would be gone helping with the new baby--I still decorated and loved doing it.  I had friends over and entertained and it was festive and fun.  I did not get out the tree decorations from years past--too many memories tied to them--but instead did a fun-- glitz & glitter tree.  I had my sweet friend that mowed my yard come over and help with the outside lights and all the heavy lifting.  I LOVED the finished product and remembered how much fun it can all be.  I just made it different---and different was good.  My family did not come home--so they did not see and did not miss the traditional decorations---it was me and those sweet friends who came over to enjoy.

Here I am in FW and it is time to think it through again.  This is a transition year-since I am in an apartment.  My FW grands come several times a week to see Lulu-SO I have to decorate for them.  I suspect I will go simpler--but still decorated.  Different with them in mind.  Something that they can play with without me stroking out over breakage.  All the way back to a child's sense of Christmas will probably be my theme.  I do not have outside light outlets--so that will not be in the cards. Something festive--to remind them as they drive up what fun this all is, but simple--child like.

I have also considered the many that are unable to decorate for a multitude of reasons.  Why not purchase a small pre-decorated tree or wreath and take it to a nursing home?  Last year a sweet little family did the 12 days of Christmas- Secret Elf for me.  WHAT FUN!  I did not have a clue who was doing it until they revealed their identity the final day.  I looked forward every day to what they would bring and loved trying to figure out who the secret elf was.  Look back at last year's posts starting with December 1, 2012 and read forward.  It was the highlight of my Christmas!

What will you do?  Consider what I have written---who are you decorating for-change is perfectly acceptable--things have changed--life is evolving and your expectations around decorating can also--do not make it a chore---embrace the joy of doing that which you love and leave the rest behind.  Different is not always bad--but can even be refreshing.  Want and need things to be the same--go for it.  ENJOY the holiday --do not get over-whelmed--concentrate on that which you delight--and leave the rest behind.  Best of all--do something festive for someone else--eyes off the navel and up!

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you".

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