Living Alone - Do you decorate for Christmas?

tamariskNovember 6, 2006

Do you just do the basics like a door wreath and a small tree? Or do you go all out and decorate the whole house and perhaps the yard, too? And do you bake goodies, or just pick something up from the deli? Or do you just not do Christmas decorating at all?


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You know how they say "What goes up must come down"??? :o)

My approach to decorating and living at home in general is "Simplicity." Minimal cleaning, minimal fuss. So as much as I enjoy the full-tilt boogie extravaganza of Christmas decor (especially the scent of a gloriously decorated Christmas tree), no. I don't bother with it myself because it just means that much more work when the whole season is over and done with.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:47AM
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Tam, I enjoy decorating for Christmas. I pick a weekend afternoon in late Nov or early Dec and have a party for one! Break out a bottle of good wine, light some candles, put on some good Christmas CD's, and take my time. It usually takes me until way into the night to get everything just so.

When my children were growing up it was a wonderful family time thing to do the tree, greenery, lights, etc. As they grew up and moved away I didn't do so much anymore - usually just a tree and a wreath, perhaps a table centerpiece. Then there were a few years when I did nothing at all. Christmas was a depressing time during those years. Pulled myself out that funk with some deep soul searching.

Now, I do it for ME. I no longer go tree shopping. A couple of years ago I bought one of those tall, skinny, pre-lit, faux trees since I live in a much smaller place now. I do, however, still go out and cut holly, cedar branches, gather pine cones, etc., to use throughout the house.

Karen, Yes, it's work to take it all back down. I do that on Jan 6, and have myself another party!! (Actually manage to get things back in the right boxes - most of the time)

Some years I cook the traditional feast (only if the children will be here though).....Don't do Christmas gift shopping except for the name I pick from the Angel Tree. The children and I decided years ago that instead of buying gifts for each other (which we really didn't need) to pick someone from the Angel Tree and give some less fortunate child or family a good Christmas.

Sorry this is so long, Tam. I usually post over on the Coffee Shop thread, where we tend to ramble on..and on...


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 11:30AM
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I have been single all my life, and in younger years, up until about 6 years ago, I went all out and decorated a live tree. I am with Gerry---I would do it for me. then about 6 years ago there were a lot of losses in 2000, and I didn't feel as much in the holiday spirit that year. then it became just a small Christmas plant that I could put on the top of a table with some lights on it. I haven't had a real actual tree since, last year, in X-mas 2005, I was so not in the spirit that I didn't do a single thing to decorate---tried to totally ignore Christmas. didn't work. This year, I plan to go look at Target or Macy's for a nice---about 18 inch to 24 inch, nice faux tree to put on my console table by the window, and decorate it...with new decorations. I still have all the decorations I collected 20 years ago, but I want some newer and simpler decorations.

thanks for starting a really good topic.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Thank you for all for your replies. I was beginning to think I was weird or something because for several years I have just not done anything. Each year I miss it, but then the next year I don't do it - again. Go figure.

This year my niece is here and will be here through the end of the year. The other day she asked me about us decorating for Christmas, so now I am anxious to pull out the old decorations and see if I need to get any new ones. I will need to get a tree I know. My niece has some good ideas about decorating, so maybe she can teach me some new things.It feels good to be looking forward to Christmas for a change.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Just a follow up to yesterday's message...I thought I would make sure to go and get a faux tree yesterday, since I felt that if I waited, especially until after Thanksgiving, what I was looking for might be gone. I found a really nice 4.5 foot "cashemere" pine, (faux) at Target...took it out of the box and set it up after dinner, it is pre-lit, lights already on it. Plugged it in and it looked great. Then I thought...let's see how it looks with a few decorations on it and then I will put it away. Now it is all decorated on the one side, and the 150 white lights that are on it, give off so much light that it puts all this soft light in my living room in the November darkness. Am I crazy, but I think I am going to leave it up and finish decorating the other side once I find some more new decorations. I have pretty severe winter depression, at least I have had for the last 2 winters before now, and the light that this tree gives off, is a lot better than having only candles going in the living room. (I don't usually like to watch TV or doze after dinner with full lamps on)... I wondered if it was nutty or out of the etiquette to leave a tree up as of November 8, but what the heck, it is worries about it drying out.

Just out of curiousity, how long do any of you leave your decor up after Christmas??

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 6:36AM
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I think it's OK if you want to finish your tree now and leave it up. After all, it is your home, and it makes you happy.

The same with taking it down.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:10PM
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mariaocean, By all means, do whatever makes you feel good.
Enjoy! And if some nosy neighbor or friend asks "why so early" you can smile sweetly and reply "Why not?"

I have a friend who keeps a lit tree up all year - not a Christmas type tree - it's a weeping fig about 6 feet tall.
She decorates it at Christmas (it's in her sun room), then removes the ornaments a day or so after Christmas, hangs party hats, those curly little blow out whistles, firecrackers, etc for New Year's. Then in February she decorates it with red, pink, white valentines, shamrocks for St. Pat's get the picture. But she always leaves the little white lights on it. Says it makes her feel good.

Happy decorating , Tam and mariaocean


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Beginning of December, I decorate a live tree that is over 6 feet, bring out my Christmas rugs, tableclothes, pillows, towels, and outside I place poinsettias on either side of my front door, wreath, and string icle lights around the house -- for me! And like Gerry, I too will have some wine and play Christmas music while I decorate. I love to have the fireplace going and the lights of the tree just give me a warm feeling all over. I get presents for family and friends and keep them under the tree until I go visiting on Christmas eve/day. I recyle my tree and put everything away for the following year soon after the New Year.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 2:14PM
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A follow-up to my original post...

I have two favorite places to visit when I need a Christmas decor fix. Trader Joe's and Cost Plus World Market. My oh my, they don't leave out a thing! lol Colors and packages and all kinds of fun holiday stuff are festively jammed into every square inch of space. Trader Joe's always has a demo station with foods to sample. It's a multi-sensory explosion of holiday cheer and perfect for someone who likes to enjoy the season without cleaning up afterwards. lolol


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:38AM
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I have heard of Trader Joe's, but I don't think we have one around here. I found their web site, but couldn't get the locations page to come up, so I'll check that again later.

As I posted before, my niece is here this year, so we will be cooking at home. She is young, so I'll let her do the cleaning up! LOL. We plan to start decorating the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She suggests that we do the tree last, since that is the crowning touch. I guess we will start in the garden by tying some greenery and a red bow to the lamp post - or maybe just a red bow since it already has ivy growing up it. I don't want to do a lot of stuff in the yard, maybe the lamp post and a large wreath on the gate. My niece wants to hang green garland on the white picket fence, so if she will buy the garland she can have at it. It would look pretty.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Hello Tam and all,

I imagine everyone is busy with Thanksgiving preparations and thinking about getting decorations up for Christmas. I have dug out several boxes, but nothing up yet.

Tam, your yard looks lovely - I'm glad you decided to hang the greenery on your fence. I drove by Sunday on my way to G.Crk.

It's sleeting here - just light stuff.

Warm Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:39PM
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Well, I live single and I decorate every year. I think the trick is to make your own holiday traditions.

For my part, I put up the tree on Thanksgiving Day as I watch the Macy's parade. I live in a tiny house, so I go the fake tree route, most live trees are too FAT for my floorspace. Anyway, I make myself mulled apple cider, grab the step ladder from the garage and get to work. By the time Santa appears on TV, the tree is up, lights on, ornaments and garland in place.

Over the next week, I start pulling out and decorating the rest of the house. I do make real garland for my fireplace, I must have the fir-tree smell, but I get those cuttings for free from a local tree lot. I also have holly, rosemary and boxwoods growing in my yard to add to the tree cuttings. My one real splurge is real wreaths for my windows that I get from a local nursery. Candles in the window, a few knick-knacks out and presto! Instant Christmas.

Being single can be a bit of a downer sometimes. So to keep myself in the spirit, I plug in the tree for at least an hour each night. Sometimes I splurge on a mug of cocoa.

After the holidays, I repeat the cycle, except that I put the stuff up during the Rose Parade.

Another thing that gets me into the holiday spirit is baking. Even though I don't have anyone to bake for, I make all kinds of cookies and take them to a nearby retirement/assisted living community. Of course some of the cookies never make it out of the house...heh!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 3:25PM
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I just saw this forum & thought I could reply to this subject. I have been a single person for quite awhile. My children don't live closeby anymore but I have always had a smaller live tree and put out most of the decorations and ornaments I've collected over the years, and even make a point to buy something new every year. I also decorate the outside of my house although not quite as extensively as most houses in my neighborhood. To me, it is very comforting to come home to a decorated house at Christmas time. But it is also a relief to take everything down on Jan 1st and have my house clean and clutterless again !!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 7:19PM
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I bought an artificial tree several years ago. Found out I was allergic to real trees in the house. I love having a tree up, even if it is just me here. DS usually comes from CA for Christmas. I used to love putting out my collection of snowmen but this last Christmas was my first with a dog in the house. Jake killed several of my snowmen. I am hoping to get some shelving up so I can display my snowmen out of Jake's reach. One year I put my tree up at Halloween but didn't decorate it until Thanksgiving. I used to leave my snowmen out until February or March.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 2:50PM
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I trudge thru the tree farm every year looking for the perfect tree.

I COULD just ignore the season but I think that's a bad rut to get into. It's good to stay engaged, and this is one way I do it. I decorate the great room every year and friends and family are always anxious to see it.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 7:28PM
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