Lacking Holiday Ambition

This is actually a small part of Rudolph's yard display!

This is actually a small part of Rudolph’s yard display!  He has 4 pink lighted flamingos this year.

One of our neighbors, we’ll call him Rudolph, LOVES Christmas, especially the decorations. He goes all out, spending weeks each year assembling and disassembling the holiday decor outside of their home. Were it not for the many homes on our block that make no attempt whatsoever at holiday decorations, the typical few strands of icicle lights hanging from the gutter on the front of the gutter that I hang every year would look barren by comparison.

So when a few days ago Rudolph rode by our house on his bicycle and called out, “Where are the lights?” I felt a little bad. This is the first year that we haven’t put up any holiday decorations whatsoever. And other than a door wreath that I’ll hang if I devote 10 minutes to pulling it and the hanger out of the closet, we’re likely to remain completely decoration-less.

I Swear I’m Not A Grinch

It’s just that it hasn’t really felt Christmassy to me this year, and it’s sure not helping that this week (assuming the weather forecasts hold through the weekend) will be the first week this season where there hasn’t been a single morning of 70+ degree weather. And as much as I’m a warm-weather person, the unseasonably warm winter has prevented me from breaking out my scarves and knit caps*.

I don’t begrudge anyone their holiday decor or holiday music. Heck, now that it’s past Thanksgiving, I’m actually appreciating the holiday decorations in Home Depot. (It felt a little early when I saw Christmas items out on display before Halloween this year!)

If anything, I think I’m enjoying the holiday efforts of others when I’m out even more this year. Since I’m not in the car much, I’m not overwhelmed with holiday music on the radio. And other than Home Depot and Publix, I don’t think I’ve been in any other stores lately!

Mostly, We’ve Just Got Other Priorities

As it turns out, making cabinets takes a while. As does laying tile a little at a time. We’re not regretting DIY-ing either of these endeavors, and if anything I’m looking forward to the time I’ve requested off from work over the holidays as uninterrupted days when we can get some more done and the idea of taking a couple of the few daylight (and non-rainy as was an issue last weekend!) hours to hang Christmas lights felt like it would have been a CHORE to get through when I really wanted to be working on the cabinetry.

And as for decorating the inside of the house, well… it feels like a tree would just cause far more headaches than smiles. At the moment, we’ve still got an extra refrigerator and stove in our kitchen. I’d optimistically like to get those out of our house this weekend so I can start move the first half of our pantry cabinet inside, but we’ll see how that plan shakes out.

Not to mention, we’ve let the kitchen remodel turn into a little bit of a “cookie problem” in one of the hallways. (Mr PoP rightly places the blame for this on me…) This summer I decided that since it might be a year or more before we got to replacing the tile in the bedrooms, it would look better in the meantime if we did the small hallway between the living room and the bedrooms now, rather than waiting until we did the bedrooms. Though it would have better for me to decide this before we returned the rental demolition hammers to Home Depot, Mr PoP happily (well, maybe not happily, but lovingly!) removed that ~45sqft of tile by hand. The hallway remains untiled, and since then we’ve actually decided that what we really want to do is remove a small linen closet** that is built into the corner of this hallway and replace it with a corner-hutch style cabinet (that, hopefully, I will build).  Which, of course, needs to be done before we tile the floor…

So we want to clear up space in order to keep building more cabinets and tackle the closet demo (and subsequent wall repair) and adding a Christmas tree or other holiday decorations to the inside of the house seems like it’d just be adding more obstacles that we need to work around.

I really do love and cherish getting a Christmas tree and putting up holiday decorations. The one thing I never want to do is have those cherished events turn into something that I dread or feel an obligation to do. So, we’re abstaining from holiday decor in the PoP home this year. But don’t confuse us with grinches! We’ll be at 2 holiday parties this weekend, and have 2 lined up for next week as well!

And on Christmas morning, I’ll still put Kitty PoP in his Santa coat. That brings holiday cheer to everyone!


Kitty PoP a couple of Christmases ago (on the old tile!)

* For someone that has spent 28 of her 33 years on this planet living in climates that rarely (if ever!) have snow, I have a surprising number of scarves and knit caps. Luckily I am a complete warm-weather-wuss, and will often wear them if the weather is under 70-degrees. I’ve was even known to wear them inside my office before I got my own thermostat to control! So they pretty much all get used a few times per year and Marie Kondo and FP will be pleased to know each one sparks joy. =)

** Oddly, this will be the third closet that we will have removed from our house since they were all positioned in manners that made spaces feel extra small. The remaining 3 closets don’t seem to do that, so should remain in perpetuity.

What are you doing to get in the holiday spirit this year? Anyone else abstaining from decorations?

12 comments to Lacking Holiday Ambition

  • Ah, but are they folded so that they stand up in your drawers? (Kidding!) Pretty funny that you own more knit hats and scarves in Florida than I do in Colorado. I have 1 hat and 2 winter scarves.

    We have a tree, but no external decorations at all. I was thinking of going to Goodwill this weekend and seeing if they have any nice wreaths. One of my oldest friends (who lost her mom several years ago) is flying out to spend Christmas with me and the fellas, so I can’t be TOO slack.

    My thinking is, Christmas should be fun. You should stop Christmas-ing when it stops being fun. You hit that point earlier this year, so you stopped. Good for you!
    Frugal Paragon recently posted..I KonMaried My Wardrobe (FP Style)My Profile

  • All we did was a tree, and it has only non-breakable ornaments (toddler fun). I’m a huge proponent of only doing what brings you joy. I’d love to decorate more for Christmas, but our space is so tight that even our little tree feels like a burden sometimes. But I have big plans to decorate when we have a larger space.

    I’m excited to see more cabinet updates. It will be so cool, when everything is done, to be able to look at your house and feel pride in a job well done.
    Leah recently posted..ThankfulMy Profile

    • Kitty PoP is probably similar to a toddler when it comes to ornaments, so we know what you mean there! I’ll try and get a cabinet update soon. I’ve been so busy building on the weekends I haven’t thought about posting an update. =)

  • I understand. The one year we didn’t put up a Christmas tree is when we were buying a house. We closed on the house December 19 and moved in before New Years. So the weeks leading up to the holidays were complete chaos and there was no point in getting a tree.

    We always go all out on the tree (see link, actually) but don’t do outdoor decorations. Maybe one day I’ll splurge for the 80s-style big bulbs and hardshell plastic Santa or snowman. That’s the only way I’ll do it. I like your neighbor’s style.
    Norm recently posted..Real Christmas Trees RuleMy Profile

    • I insist on real christmas trees when we put them up now, after growing up with some of the world’s most fake looking artificial christmas trees. I just love the real ones!

  • LOL! How on EARTH did you get the cat to put up with being decked out in that outfit? 😀

    Without kids around, I have no interest in hauling out Christmas decorations, hanging them up, and then having to drag them down, pack them back into boxes, and put them away.

    But we do have neighbors who just LOVE it, and that really is fun. A guy about half-a-block down the road always puts up what we call “The Burning Bush.” He wraps what MUST be about three miles of Xmas lights in four different-colored, wound-together strands all over this HUGE Chinaberry tree. So the lights outline not just the trunk but also the main branches, towering up in the air.

    Then he sets these lights on timers so that they colors change. You’ll look at it at, say, 7 p.m., and all the lights will be white. An hour or so later, it’s blue. Then it’s red… Wild stuff.

    As younger couples with kiddies have moved in, many of them go all out with the decor, too. That’s a lot of fun.

    Much more fun when other people do it than when you have to do it yourself.
    Funny about Money recently posted..Is Costco “Amazon-proof”?My Profile

    • Oh Kitty PoP doesn’t mind his santa coat. Every time I put it on him I give him treats to distract him while I get his legs through, so he’s a pretty happy camper. Then once it’s on he pretty much forgets about it.

      The burning bush decoration sounds amazing! It’s great to have neighbors around who do neat stuff like that so you can enjoy it without any of the work!

  • Lara

    One Christmas Eve, in the midst of a construction project, we wrapped our ladder with lights and hung ornaments from it.

  • Funny, I was hoping that I could get away from not having to decorate as my three boys (10, almost 14, 16) weren’t really wanting to do anything. But my youngest has started asking, so I think the tree (and only the tree) is going up this coming weekend! LOL
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  • Heidi

    I say do whatever feels right to you!

    I finished my living room board and batten last week (quite an undertaking in a crooked old house with lots of angles and wobbly walls). I’m too exhausted to go dig out decorations now, plus I worked SO hard to see my nice new clean walls, so I don’t want to go covering them up with decorations!

  • I feel like I can relate this year. We have a baby coming in late Feb and have just sold our house. It will close the beginning of March (I know, we are cutting it close). We already have our new house and have things that we also wish to do (flooring etc) and would like to get it down before we move in. I feel like I have been really focused on getting the current house sold and now that that’s done, I am really focused on what needs to be done in the new house. Setting up and then taking down Christmas decorations just seems like extra work right now! We have an 18 month old so we did decorate the house and tree yesterday but I don’t think we have the energy to the outdoor lights this year :). I love Christmas too so it is a strange place to be in!
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