Decoration Decorum

“How early do you start shopping/decorating for the holidays?”

Shopping! How I miss the hustle and bustle of shopping centers decorated to the hilt and finding just the right gift for just the right person!

I have been some distance away from  big shopping centers that are easy to get to for many years now.
I also have fewer and fewer people to buy for, since the extended family is not nearby and we adults have simply stopped exchanging presents. Money has been tight for many of them, (and often for us), plus health has also been an issue for some of us.

I would still enjoy it immensely.

I got into the habit of buying things that I considered perfect for someone any time during the year and putting them away,

especially when I find them on sale!

I still do that some for the grandkids; I still do that if I see something that would make a nice gift for someone, somewhere.

Although more often than not, I try to feel out what the kids like at this point.

Teenagers that do not live with you are hard to buy for. Nothing is worse than spending good money for something they don’t want or can’t use. I remember being a teen and being on the receiving end of presents that were really wrong and wishing that the person knew to spend half of the money on something that I really wanted. There would have been many things that made me happy, but it was like people were radar-guided to go in the wrong direction. (We covered this here  once: bad presents. It was amusing…and heartbreaking)

Little kids are easier to buy for. Next year will be that kind of fun again with a baby in the family.

Still, I enjoyed wrapping presents in one or two shifts, with the smells of Christmas and seasonal music, or even a movie, playing away.


As for decorating, it depends on the holiday.

It’s too much trouble to decorate a lot for a short time, so Christmas gets going relatively early, right AFTER Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a big thing here, which should not surprise anyone who knows me. It was always big with my family when I was growing up. Relatives would come in and some would even ‘drop in’ from several states away because they knew my mother would have great food and plenty of it.

Shopping for and preparing food for Thanksgiving and Christmas and even Halloween begins early. I pick up Turkey breast s on sale, (I cooked my last big turkey last year. Son #1 is now gluten-sensitive and he can’t eat the turkey since I want to stuff it. I make 2 kinds of side dressings, bread and quinoa now.)  Since The Grandson and Son#2 don’t get to town for Halloween or sometimes Thanksgiving, I make and box appropriately–themed goodies and ship them off to them. People will be around before Christmas more than ON Christmas, so cookies, breads, etc.  must be made early. I stopped making most of the candies I once did, but at least the Almond Toffee gets made, if nothing else.

Mom didn’t decorate much. She did have great “Harvest” decorated dishes, the story of which I told here on the blog before.  I have a few harvest-themed serving dishes, decorations and linens which I pull out;  I leave up the scarecrows from Halloween and the ceramic and candle jack-o’lanterns get their faces turned to the wall to  show just their ‘pumpkinness’  for Thanksgiving. Turkeys and colored leaf candles go on display.

Halloween decorations inside get put up the first or second week of October. The outside decorations, lighting, luminaria, etc., are put out on Halloween afternoon to try to let trick-or-treaters know to come to our house. Few have been coming, and so few neighbors give out treats. Pity.

Christmas also gets left up at least until Epiphany, the first week of January. My mother left her decorations up a lot longer, but I feel like after all the hoopla, it’s time to get started on a new year.

When my kids were young I decorated like crazy for St. Valentine’s Day, then I decorated for St. Patrick’s Day. Easter gets put up during Lent; I have a lot of Easter, and it gets left up for a week afterward.

When the kids were young I also decorated for Independence Day.  Those were up for maybe a week; it wasn’t much.

If I digressed, and we’re talking only about the Christmas-New Year holidays, the quick answer is that, as stated above, I decorate right after the Thanksgiving weekend, or on it, depending on whether company is here, or the weather, since my decorations are in the garage.

I want Santa and The Holy Family up, and not any creepy-crawlers that may have gotten into the boxes.
Even when decorating for Halloween, the spiders were not of the real, live variety.

However, with fewer people here for shorter lengths of time, I find myself decorating less and less, but most people who had never seen my homes before would believe that I had cut-back either on the ambience or the food, and yet, I really have.

Also, the box with many of my best decorations was taken by mistake with others to a local charity shop. I cannot not replace them and would not if I could. The thought of them gone breaks my heart, but it is freeing in a way; I guess it was a lesson in letting go that I needed.

But come on by my house; the place will certainly look like the holidays and there will be plenty of food!

And I may even be able to scare up a present for you, too.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
This entry was posted in America, author's life, Autumn, childhood, Christmas, collections, experiences, Family, favorites, food, Fourth of July, Holiday, holidays, inspiration, recipe, Tonette Joyce and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Decoration Decorum

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m sure whatever you put up in your home will be lovely, no matter how scaled back it is. But I understand – with fewer family and friends coming to visit, there’s less need or motivation to decorate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot to put und a lot to take down, which is harder, somehow.I really didn’t mind when there are enough family or friends in to enjoy it, but the visits are getting shorter and shorter.
      Joe insisted that I buy decorations and put up a tree even before our first son was born, so I guess that even if we saw no one,I would still bake some and decorate.


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    It certainly sounds as thought you’ve really “grooved” on the various holidays and really done a great job at decorating your home appropriately. With the exception of the American flag, I don’t recall us ever “decorating” for the various patriotic holidays… except one year we had some plastic bunting on the porch (here).
    Learning (here) of the lengths to which you went in earlier years for both the food and decor, I think it would be fascinating to solicit brief comments from all your family old enough to write — asking them which year (or holiday) they remember most, or best, etc. Would be a great way to begin some family history, unless you’ve already started such a project.
    As for gifts, I identify with your statement — not only when I was younger, but even these days — to wit: “being on the receiving end of presents that were really wrong and wishing that the person knew to spend half of the money on something that I really wanted.”
    Maybe I’m just too picky, but I think I’d rather have the money and just buy what I really want.
    [Unless it’s a personalized “craft” made by a child or grandchild.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Something given in love and handmade is always a joy, Jeff. However, if you remember that topic some years back, even when I asked for something, it was always something different that was close, but not close enough, or if it was something that was two-pices/parts, inevitably I would be given the part that I could do without.But enough of that.I am doing OK. I know that the kids would often prefer money or gift cards, but if I feel them out and get what they want, I prefer to do it that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even scaled back it sounds like your home will be beautifully decorated for any holiday. I’m sure it smells amazing as well. Shopping for teens is certainly a lot harder than shopping for little kids.
    Last year was our first Thanksgiving with Wyatt being gluten free. I stuffed our turkey with apples and carrots. It was delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My family is used to our trdaitional family recipe sage dressing, Angie, so instead of bread, I make it with quinoa. It’s getting harder for me to handle a whole turkey anyway, and since my daughter-in-law doesn’t eat turkey ad so I do a ham also, a breast it is, often with legs on the side.
      The baked goods, the foods, the candy, yes, it all smells wonderful.When I was growing up, the house also smelled of fir trees and pine boughs.


  4. Wish I lived close enough to you to stop by and vice versa during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Be sure and post some pictures. I think we’re friends now on Facebook. I’d love to see them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon and I wish you were, too. I used to have people who liked certain goodies and I would give them every year, but they have dwindled down to family, (and a couple of ex-in-laws.)
      I usually post pictures of the tables; food and dessert.Watch for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. trishafaye says:

    With the boys and their children all out of state – and only a houseful of cats here – I don’t decorate for the holidays anymore. (Although I know the cats would LOVE a good tree! LOL) Occasionally I miss it – but mostly I’m glad to have the time & energy to spend elsewhere.
    I loved reading about all your decorating (and cooking) for the holidays. I can almost smell your roasting turkey full of stuffing from here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Trisha! It is hard to get up the effort when the kids aren’t around. I think Son #1, who is in town but works out of town a lot, and his daughters came in once while I had decorations up. I will not be keeping many of them or doing many of them again. I need to get back to my cooking/easy entertaining blog, but if you really like to read about cooking, please drop in: Tonette Joyce Food, Friends, Family, here at WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s