Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Not Martha Stewart

In her heyday, my mother-in-law marked the passing seasons with holiday-appropriate decor. It was a thing to behold. You knew it was time to tear a page off the calendar just by looking at her surroundings. .

By October 1, her house was bedecked in ghosts and black cats, with porcelain pumpkins on the windowsills and an orange-and-black wreath hanging from the front door.

On November 1, the entire ambiance changed. Turkeys, cornucopia bursting with gourds and fall leaves, and grinning plastic canvas pilgrims appeared as if by magic.

Promptly on December 1 Christmas was all around. All manner of angels replaced the cornucopia, and the fall leaves gave way to candy canes and holly. When she moved into a smaller apartment a year or so ago, she pared down box after box after box of Yuletide pretties.

I occasionally wonder what she thinks of my total ineptitude with seasonal decor. My problem, I believe, is not so much that additional knick-knacks to avoid dusting irritate me, although they do, or that I am easily thrown off by change, although I am.

No, I believe my problem is that holidays sneak up on me. I don't want dilute the joy of the holidays I truly love (Thanksgiving, Christmas) by decorating too early, and suddenly we're only a few days away from the big day and it hardly seems worth the fuss. And certainly I don't want to go to any effort for the holidays that aren't so high on my excitement meter (Fourth of July, anyone?).

This year I decided to combine all of my decorating for the fall season in one wild burst of abandon.

Pumpkins, three for $10 at Apple Market. Husband carried said pumpkins from the car to the has-seen-better-days flower bed, and voila. Done.

Maybe I am Martha Stewart after all.

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