Friday, November 26, 2010

Pine Cones and Burlap

My dad built me a beautiful cedar chest and gave it to me for Christmas in 1990.  How could one possibly know what their grown-up tastes will be when they are thirteen?  My mother, grandmother and I immediately began filling it and seven years later, when I married my husband, I had a full chest.  (ha ha)  My Hope Chest contained dishes, utensils, linens, a blessing gown for my babies, candles, Christmas ornaments, a few things for my walls, and other sundries.

During those teen years, I wanted excited mixed with nasalgia.  My tastes were bright, bold, and antique.  There was a lot of blue delft, eyelet and Santa Claus.  For the most part, my style has always been classic and I've always been uncomfortable being too trendy or daring.  I was so excited to set up housekeeping and finally use all the things I had been collecting.  We had a baby fourteen months after we were married and, right away,

things started breaking.

My style began to change, to be refined.

Now, while I still like classic and antique, they have to be balanced with warm, comfortable, soothing colors.  There is so much brilliance in my life with my five fabulous pods that I need my home to calm not excite.

Last year, when I put away the Christmas decorations, I was liberated by letting a lot of things go.  I do not think I am a pack rat or a hoarder, but I am a saver.  I cannot bear waste.  I never want to hurt anyone's feelings by giving away something they gave.  I tend to love something because I've "had it since I was thirteen" and not because I actually love the thing.  But, my little house couldn't hold it all and the Christmas decorations made me grumpy rather than filled with love and joy.

So, last year, if it was broken, I tossed it.  If I just didn't like it anymore, I gave it away.  Today, as I pulled out my three (yes, only three!!) boxes of Christmas decorations, my cleaning-out became obvious.  I only kept only my very favorite things and my house looks lovely in its simplicity.  My home is decked out in more living green and less spangly garland, there are only a few treasured things that would be considered fragile--and they are up high, and there are more subdued reds and browns rather than the garish reds and Christmas greens of my younger years.

It's funny how we change.

And how we don't.

*All idea photos taken from Better Homes and Gardens unless noted.

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