This year I may have gone a little overboard on the Christmas decorating thing.
I had a smallish party and wanted to make it special, so I did a few extra things like this:
a little fresh greenery and some ribbon. A nice touch, I thought.
I put some garland and big red ornament balls and lights on top of my china cabinet. It was lovely.
I added a wreath to the mirror in the dining room and set the table with silver charger plates and my fine china.
After all my effort and work (and even my sweet mother coming in to save the day just hours before the party and help me with the things I just couldn't get to), the big moment arrived.
No, not the party guests. My husband.
You need to understand something before I tell you what he said. My sweet husband is what is known as a minimalist. If left to his own devices and free will, he would live in a house with stark white walls, one futon couch, some paper cups and plates, and a bathroom. Done. He'd be in heaven.
I find this trait about him both freeing and odd at the same time. Freeing in the sense that neither of us like to see clutter build up. We prefer a tidy house (which I feel somewhat reluctant to say out loud b/c lots of you have actually been in my home and you know this is most of the time a pipe dream of ours instead of reality) with things put in their place.
I find this trait in him odd as well because this man who is not at all a collector of "things" for his house is EXTREMELY attached to things from his past such as all his high school and college papers, books, and trophies. Just tonight he was a little unhappy with me because he found three of his gigantic NEWK'S plastic cups in the trash.
He said, "but they're good cups. I like them."
I said, "but do we NEED twelve cups just because they're good ones? You go eat lunch at NEWK'S every single week! You can get more (which I will also throw away)."
But whatever...we've compromised and he's taken most of his prized possessions to his office.
(WHAT? You don't think that's a compromise? I know, you're right. He is a wonderful man who conceded by taking it out of the house and I love him for it.)
So anyway, back to the story...
In walked my husband for his first viewing of our newly festive home. And I quote...
"It looks like a Christmas hoarder lives here."
Hmm. Hoarder. Not really the look I was going for, and yet I feel somewhat correct in insisting that a little garland over the mantle and the china cabinet does not really put me in the same category as someone who literally has no place to sit in their home because of the 96,000 aluminum cans they've collected. Seriously, spouse of mine! A nativity set on the piano and a couple wooden snowmen in the window over the kitchen sink is NOT the same as a person who has acquired enough yo-yos and broken horse shoes to be buried alive in their hallway!
My suspicion is that, if given total control over our home's decor, when Christmas rolled around he would place a single, solitary candy cane on the mantle and tell us all, "Merry Christmas"! and that would be that. Charlie Brown's tree might even be too much for him. Made the room look too crowded for him.
I was a teeny bit self-conscious of all the suddenly gaudy decor after that, mere moments before my guests were to arrive. My black dress with a few sparkles on it suddenly seemed as offensive and obnoxious as if I were wearing and a Christmas sweater vest that had snowflakes that actually lit up and a festive antler headband. Perhaps I should've opted for a plain white turtleneck with khaki pants. Should I take off off all my make-up in favor of the "less cluttered" look and put on a pair of granny flats in place of my obnoxious high heeled boots?
Moms, let's face it. If it weren't for us, the world would be a very boring and ugly place. Our children would eat nothing but plain bread and water for their entire lives and they would never even know that such things as 600 thread count sheets exist. Our homes would look more like empty warehouses, cold and gray, and they would echo whenever someone spoke because of the lack of furniture.
So my husband thinks I'm a Christmas hoarder. Okay. But I think he's secretly glad, because if I weren't a "hoarder" he would have no clothes to wear or any place to sit down in his own home. We work well together, really. He makes the money, I spend the money on my "collections" (of basic furniture and clothing and decor).
Be watching TLC for me on Hoarders. You never know...