In my previous life, when it came to things I enjoyed, I tended to gild the lily. The Halloween graveyard at The Atomic Abode started with a couple of tombstones. It burgeoned over the years to the point that I dreaded the entire day it took to put it up. The same with my vintage canned ham trailer, FiFi. I had so many accoutrements and so much staging that it took me three hours to set up camp!
It should be no surprise that Christmas was the same. To be fair, I rarely put everything out every year. I alternated rooms and decorations. But, in my final year in the Atomic Abode, it was all on display: Outdoor decorations; seven trees inside the house, all themed; two snow villages; a collection of vintage reindeer figurines; Tom and Jerry and Eggnog bowls; reindeer dinnerware … you get the idea.
When I sold my home I packed a few things to display at Christmas. My first Christmas was in Palm Springs. I was there for awhile, so I had plenty of time to decorate and to enjoy the festive decor.
This year my friend and I arrived in Key West on December 20, and it would not have been feasible to put up the tree before then; some of the ornaments are fragile, and the space for the tree disappears when the slide comes in. But, there was no time for the tree on December 20. Friends who winter in Key West invited us out to happy hour and to see a steel drum band.
I got around to decorating on December 21. I have two weeks before it is time to stow it all away for another year and head to Key Largo in January 3.
My holiday decor nowadays is understated for me, yet extravagant for an RV. I mean, I cart a tinsel tree around in the cargo box on the roof of the toad! As I brought everything out and set it up this year, I began thinking it may be time to pare it down even more.
Slowly but surely, my focus on stuff is melting away. I chose an experience in Key West over decorating on the day we arrived. When I finally did decorate, I questioned if I really needed, or wanted, all I have. Because, whether I put up seven trees or one skinny one, Christmas comes anyway. If I decorated Nellie not an inch, Christmas would still come. As Dr. Seuss said:
“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”