When the holidays come around, my thoughts turn to decorating my home and tree for Christmas. My mind recollects what’s in the attic, what I saw in the stores and what kind of homemade goodies I can help create with the kids. There is so much out there that it’s easy to get frustrated over what to buy, so here is a little help for those caught in the decoration dilemma.
1. Garland versus tinsel: I like to call this the dilemma of the control freak versus the free spirit. Garland is like a chain in that it can only do so much. You can wrap it around and make specific shapes, but it’s a very specific and controlled process. Tinsel is like a hippie version of garland. You can frolic around the tree or home throwing tinsel about haphazardly and it looks good wherever it falls. I love tinsel and am not a big fan of garland. If you are into control and being precise, then garland is your best bet, but if you like the idea of a more free decorating experience, then go with the tinsel. My one caveat is that children will pull down garland, but they will eat tinsel. Tinsel and small children are not a good idea unless you want to see shimmering poop in a diaper.
2. Plastic versus glass ornaments: When my wife and I first got together, we bought all those glass bulbs that shimmered in the light. We had the standard red, green and blue, but we also bought the more expensive decorative ones whose glass was so thin that the slightest tremor could break it. We learned our lesson after a few years and completely gave up the practice when the kiddies came along. I grew tired of going into the attic and finding shards of colored glass at the bottom of the box and needing bandages by the end of the evening. Glass and kids are two things that should never go together. Unless you have steel cage surrounding your tree, keep glass anything away from kids. Plastic does quite have the same feel of glass, but ultimately, it’s the safest and least expensive alternative.
3. Window decorations: As a child, my family had the same hard, spiky plastic reindeer and snowmen that they taped to the windows every year. These decorations were so hard and sharp that I was usually injured by them at least once a year. The other type was your straight cardboard kind, and then there are the window clingers. Plastic, hard, spiky window decorations will last forever. After a nuclear holocaust, the only things left will be cockroaches and plastic spiky window decorations. Cardboard decorations are safe for children, but you won’t get more than a couple Christmases out of them before they get bent, wet, ripped, etc. Window clings retain their shape and don’t require tape to put up. The only drawback is they have a tendency to become adhered to the window, requiring a paint scrapper to get them off, or they fall off several times during the year.
Decorating for Christmas isn’t easy, as stores develop more types of decoration that move, light up and sing to you. My best advice is to not go overboard. The holidays aren’t about being the best and brightest house on the block. They’re about celebrating family and friends and remembering that there is good in the world and in people.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4273200347
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