Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Clutter

I love Christmas. I love getting out the boxes of decorations from the attic. I love the story behind all our ornaments. I love the food. I love the excitement and anticipation in my boys' every move. I love the spirit, the fellowship, the merriment. But I hate the clutter.

Bows. Bags. Wrapping paper rolls unwinding all over the place. Tape, but never where and when I need it. Shipping boxes. Damn styrofoam peanuts (shame on companies that still use that stuff!). Greeting cards and those excruciating update letters. Pine needles. Baskets of fruit. Gingerbread houses. Elves on shelves. Bounty of cookies. Homemade paper plate crafts and pine cone ornaments. Candles. Bells. Invitations. Sticky egg nog cups. Advent calendar and the accompanying tiny ornaments. Vases of candy canes. Nutcrackers.

It's all driving me nuts.

I didn't inherit the decorating gene so my futile attempts at wrangling the wired ribbon, bows, greenery, and floral picks look like my son's kindergarten class threw a Whoville all nighter in my living room. I can't get anything to swag. The unsightly cords are plainly in sight. The bows are askew. The greenery droops. The garland sags. The lights flicker. The wreath slips every time I open the door. And falls when I close it. The shatter proof ornaments break. The berries are poisonous. The poinsettias turn brown. The tree teeters (and actually fell over last year). The embroidered stockings keep turning backwards. The train under the tree broke. Even the music skips.

Every year I practically study the pages of Southern Living and try to reinvent my dining table and mantle into a holiday bounty of decorations. I try so very hard. Every year I fail. I'm a pretty smart cookie. I can follow directions. I buy the stuff, trapsing through the aisles at my local garden shop and AC Moore. But I can't set a holiday table scape for the life of me. I sure wish Sandra Dee were my best friend.

So all the clutter is giving me a headache. What's more, it's making me feel incompetent. I love Christmas decorations. In other people's homes.

Cross posted at Deep South Moms.

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dadshouse said...

You want clutter incompetence? Come visit my home. I'm a single dad, and I swear I try to keep the place clean. But if the kids (or I) leave something out, I might not notice until a dozen or so things are left out... and voila, clutter.

And that's not even during holiday season. It's a year-round phenomonen.

Still - I feel your pain. I'm more at peace when the house isn't cluttered. I just don't know how to unclutter it and keep it that way!

Deb Rox said...

Oh, thanks for saying this! I feel the same way! I'm not a grinch, but I have a tiny house from the 50s. There is no place for stuff outside of a few bits of heritage and our stockings. But I love Christmas--just not the aggregate of waste and ridiculousness.

I'm link-loving your post through Morningside Mom's blog cheer good karma contest. Spreading the love of a crap free house! http://morningsidemom.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/muvee-reveal-blogger-cheer-giveaway/

Anonymous said...

Clearly, what you need, is a fairy decorator godmother to come in and do it all for you; you get to just sit back and enjoy the results all season. What do you think? ;-)

The Cube Monkey said...

OMG I had no idea what an Elf on the Shelf was!
We had a few of them growing up, but they sat in the tree. We (4 children) ripped them up cuz we thought it was neat they had chinese newspaper in them. hahaha
I'm sure your house looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. I don't think it's possible to not have clutter during this time of year. =(

Maggie, Dammit said...

I began a "take back the excruciating update letters campaign" several holidays ago, and it's going swimmingly. You just have to write your own letter that puts the rest to shame -- at least, the ones who deserve to feel shame, and they know who they are. Actually, they don't, and that's what makes them insufferable.

I guess I'm just trying to make excuses for writing my own annual holiday letter. Carry on. ;)