Frazzled? Dealing with Christmas Calamities
& Other Signs of Real Life

When I look around blogland, I see perfect Christmas mantels, vignettes, gorgeous swags, delightful crafts, sweet treats and amazing holiday decor. Everything looks shiny, perfect and almost glowingly airbrushed. If your house looks like that, you can move along now cause this topic might be painful. Yes, it is time for an Authentic Living post. I’m not Martha. But you knew that already.

I look around my house and just laugh to myself. I’m keeping it simple, I really am I promise, but I still have Christmas boxes everywhere, drums in my living room (which actually look really pretty at Christmas because they are silver and they sparkle and isn’t there a song about Little Drummer Boy for Christmas?) and to top it off, my swag across my mantel crashed to the ground yesterday (not because of a Command Hook failure, but because I was tweaking the decor too much).

Don’t worry, you still have time.

I would take a photo of the current state of my house, but you’ve seen my house enough to know it is often disheveled by real life. It is just not pretty from every angle. Why are things imperfect? We live here. We have people over. We hold music rehearsals, meetings and meals here. Life happens. Life slows me down because it should. Decorating is not the top priority. I could photo edit and crop, but I can’t fool you, right? You know that behind that camera I probably have a pile of something or other.

But I’m OK with being real and imperfect. I’m trying to get my act together for the holidays, but being true to myself, my goals, and my family is always more important to me than being ready to dazzle the world. I have to go at my own pace (I’m just one girl without a staff!) and not beat myself up (especially when the garland crashes to the ground, and FYI I came up with something I like even better SO THERE!).

My house will be decorated and in order by next week, I hope, but this week…I’m just getting warmed up. I guess.

I have done a few cute things I cannot wait to show you though, including three somewhat crafty projects (yes, I’ve found three more projects people like me can do, easy easy easy) and I want to show you my almost finished dining room! YES! I promise, I will show you the progress.

You might also like to know that I’m breaking a holiday rule and a Christmas tradition this year. I’ll tell you about that soon too, as soon as I finish putting away my Christmas boxes and pick my garland up off the floor.

So, have you had any Christmas calamities?

Has your tree toppled, your swag failed, your wreath landed in a mess on the porch? Or are you still limping along like I am with your decor or maybe wondering if you even want to start? Give yourself a break. Take a deep breath. You still have time.

{I do love all the holiday parties and adore the people who ARE ready for Christmas, I’m just slow!}

More Christmas Posts:

Easy DIY Mason Jar Jingle Bell Craft
Christmas Decorating with Bits & Pieces
A Touch of Christmas in Every Room
Decorating a Christmas Mantel
Creative Christmas Trees and Stands

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Comments

  1. Melissa…. Thank you for being REAL!!!! {blog hugs} :)

  2. this is so nice to read, especially after taking 4 days (stressing out the whole time) to get my mantle post accomplished…the things I get myself worked up about… it’s just silly.
    erin recently posted..The Christmas Mantle In My Little ApartmentMy Profile

  3. Melissa N says:

    Yes… I remember when my children were little and we had just finished opening the last christmas present when the entire christmas tree fell over with a “CRASH”… ornaments went flying everywhere… needless to say the neighbors raised their eyebrows when they saw us dragging our tree to the curb Christmas morning!

  4. I am came home from an AWESOME speaker on not getting yourself crazy at Christmas and my tree had fell to the ground….the one I had been trying to like and pretty-up for the last 3 days…because it is so ugly and short after my hubby and his brother sawed off WAY to much of the bottom!!!

  5. Oh thank you! I have been feeling like I’m failing by not having my “mantle” ready to “link up”….oh the pressures that can come within this blogworld if we allow it. Breath of fresh air my friend. :-)
    Talysa recently posted..Tinas Taco SoupMy Profile

  6. No decorating calamities but Hazie is getting better. Thanks for your well wishes. I am sorry about your mantel. I think all of us ought to be applauded for working so hard, it is fun to appreciate each other. I haven’t had one minute to bounce around looking at stuff on other blogs but I am hoping to soon. Take care, Melissa, it will get done!
    Bonnie Mattson recently posted..Look Who is Gabbing On The Phone!My Profile

  7. I just started reading (enjoying) your blog recently! I love it! I am so glad to hear someone else in the blogworld is not “Martha”! My calamity: One year our beautiful Christmas tree went flying out our back door with ornaments and all! Apparently we had some very busy spiders in it and on Christmas Eve we had thousands of baby spiders running everywhere!

  8. Just wanted to let you know that you are my new favorite blogger. Actually you became my favorite blogger during the 31 Days of Autumn Bliss. Every year we have multiple calamities at Christmas time. Funny thing though, the only times our tree has fallen have been before we had kids. Last year I had the kind of flu where you can’t leave your bathroom for ANYTHING, all night Christmas Eve. I started to wonder if my kids would be more upset if I died or if Santa couldn’t come.
    Holly F. recently posted..Looks Like They Worked Out Their DifferencesMy Profile

  9. So glad to hear there are others like me – NOT MARTHA!!! I started out with tons of energy, mantel finished, kitchen centerpiece finished, entryway finished & then I made the decision to put out our Christmas Village, which hadn’t seen the light of day for many years. My girls are both grown and gone. Why did I decide this needed to be up? Right now the lights in the buildings work, but there are cords everywhere & not much “snow” put down to cover them & my tree hasn’t even been started. Thanks for reminding me I don’t have to do all in one week!!! I need a break.

  10. I know everyone having all their stuff up already is seriously making me feel inadequate. Truthfully, I don’t really like Xmas up till mid month and leave up through Jan 1. But I’m trying to get mine up because of all the parties and its just not happening…I have other things I have to do. Including decorating outside. I’m just going to have to do the best I can do. I enjoy the actual decorating part and I don’t want to rush through it to show on a blog.

  11. Oh, yes, boxes everywhere. Can’t find the dining room table and that’s the one we eat off of! I’m feeling the pressure, but then my son said, “Don’t forget our devotions tonight!” and it really put everything into perspective!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Where Women Create Is Having a GiveawayMy Profile

  12. Guess what girlfriend? The adorable candy canes that I hung (with tape) over my shutters have been falling off all night. And now it’s 1:30 AM and every time one falls, I jump out of my skin! HA! I guess tape doesn’t like to stick to dusty shutters. snort. :)

  13. We’ve kept the calamities to a minimum so far this year…but I’m sure something is bound to happen. One year, our tree fell over not once, but TWICE. Now we anchor it to the wall every year to prevent kids and Newfie tails from bringing it down.

    Some sort of destruction and breakage is bound to happen…you just have to keep it from ruining the entire event for you. Ornaments and decorations come and go, no matter how much we love them. But what is truly important is not making your home look perfect, but being able to spend the time with people you love and who love you in return. Not even the gifts are important in the end!
    Tiffany recently posted..10 incredible and free resources for baby signingMy Profile

  14. Uh. There will be no perfect Christmas mantels at my house this year. I’ve already decided that. There! That relieves some pressure from the Christmas holiday. But we will pull out our decorations that are family traditions (manger scene), Christmas tree, etc. Because that is fun. Houses are for people.

    Dixie

  15. The decorating got put on hold for a couple days, a stomach bug will do that to ya. But, it’s okay. It’ll get done, just a bit later. And, that’s okay!
    SimplyLKJ recently posted..Outdoor Christmas Decor and Front StaircaseMy Profile

  16. I guess I’m limping along. I’m still not done with the mantel I put up at Layla’s mantel link up, and I’m almost ready to take it down and start over and just go the simple route. In fact, it is quite tempting. I think that’s what happens when you’re not totally happy with what you’ve got going on and you see so many others for ideas! My goal is to be done by this weekend; I have half the bins back down in the basement {having taken out what I wanted}.

  17. I was off work last week and just began my decorating tonight. Instead of stressing to make a blog deadline; I spent time with my family. My pregnant niece asked if I would make photos of her and her hubby. So I met them on Saturday for picture taking. I rested. I enjoyed Thanksgiving and being thankful. I’m not ready and it’s OK. I’ve already decided this year I am only decorating our mantle and having a tiny tree. Cause I just have too much LIFE to enjoy. Along with homemade gifts for family and friends. The ideas will be passed along on my blog…stress free…even if it’s on Christmas Eve. LOL
    Sherri S recently posted..Welcome Merry DecemberMy Profile

  18. I am not the only one tripping over boxes, wondering why I don’t have a fireplace… and living in total chaos!! Woo Hoo!!!

  19. Do you realize that this is Advent, NOT Christmas? We are not supposed to have everything up! We are supposed to be preparing for the coming of Jesus. We should stop and say a prayer. It’s only our commercial world that has moved trimming the tree from the traditional Christmas Eve to the day after Thanksgiving! And why must the woman of the house do it all herself while the men sleep and watch football and the kids make a disaster of another room in the house? Trimming the tree used to be done with the whole family together. Chill out. Christmas doesn’t start until December 25th, and it lasts until January 6. The twelve days of Christmas to enjoy our Christmas decorations. Not get your tree out to the curb before New Years so there is room for the big screen tv and the football game! :)

    Personally, I’m concentrating on Advent calendars, church and prayer, house tidying for guests and getting presents ready. I have my Christmas decor boxes ready for when my guests get here, so we can all go pick out a tree and decorate the house together. It’s part of Christmas to decorate together. No, it doesn’t come out as picture-perfect as if I’d done it myself by copying all the mantel parties, but it will have more charm and life and meaning in it– especially if not everything came straight from China.

    Sorry, perhaps this came out sounding brash. Mini-rant over!

    Just relax! :)

  20. No calamities yet… but that might be because we haven’t even attempted to decorate for the holidays. LOL. I can totally relate to being slow. Our boxes are out as well and we have big plans to do some decking of the halls this evening. But I too am human and tend to let my visions of sugar plums dance in my head a bit too much. I am already crossing items off of my crazy to-do list. Don’t need to do a Christmas activity with my son every day. Once a week will be fine. Don’t need to make all new ornaments for my tree. The ones we have will still look pretty. Thanks for the reminder that slow and human is OK! We all need to remember the reason for the season.
    Erin – The Smallest Sparrow recently posted..Word Ornament – Pillow ThingiesMy Profile

  21. Thank you so much for this post–I feel so much better about my current condition of clutter and chaos! Things get so hectic this time of year, but it’s good to know that you aren’t being artificial about your home. Thanks for your honest–so refreshing!
    Amanda recently posted..Christmas MusicMy Profile

  22. Yep, I’m right there with you. My “perfect” tree is held together with zip ties. I keep meaning to blog about it, but I keep forgetting. Perfection is overrated :P
    Merritt recently posted..MantleMy Profile

  23. Nobody is Martha. Even Martha isn’t Martha. She has a staff. Does anyone remember when she successfully argued in court that she didn’t have to pay her gardener overtime, because her property was a farm and he was a farmhand?

    I’m way behind on Christmas this year, too. As much as I’d like to join Layla’s mantel party, my mantel still has a “Give Thanks” banner on it. And don’t even get me started on Christmas cards.

    I think our biggest calamity ever was the first year we had our cat. We heard a terrible crash and jumped out of bed to find a sideways tree. Luckily we only had a couple of broken ornaments even though all of our ball ornaments are glass. We’ve tethered the tree to the ceiling every year since.
    laxsupermom recently posted..2 Cookies- 1 DoughMy Profile

  24. Let’s just say that I have taken some interesting photos trying to avoid showing the stacked boxes and the strings of lights and the tabletop where my mother is doing vast amounts of paperwork and has envelopes stacked to the rafters. She doesn’t know the reason why, but I have planned a craft day right in the middle of all this chaos simply so I can reclaim the table! Looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to…
    Vee recently posted..Tote Bag GiftMy Profile

  25. I must confess that my white pumpkin is still on my mantle, but there is now a small set of white lights running in behind and around my fall mantle decor! :) Our tree is up, and other than a small table with two cardboard manger scenes, arranged in between some stuffed Santas (courtesy of my little princesses- I don’t have the heart to take it down), that is probably all I will do this year. In some ways, I feel lame and sad about that- but with two princess birthdays between no and Christmas, and their Christmas production, I think that’s all I have time for!
    Maybe I can find something to replace that pumpkin though, that would be more in tune with with winter!? :)
    Spring recently posted..Romance and Reality… to Haiti and back again… again!My Profile

  26. Hi Melissa, no calamity to report but I am happy to have my tree up already and my staircase decorated. Whew!

    We had a dinner party this past Sunday and I thought it would be nice to have the house decorated for guests. Hmmm, it takes an “event” like that for me to get a jump on holiday decor-lol.

    Nice to pop by and browse to see what you’ve been up to.
    Lisa recently posted..Vintage Decorative CandlesMy Profile

  27. Well my Christmas tree is crooked and we have to block it off from my 11 month old. I am trying to stay away from a calamaty here.
    Regina recently posted..On The Farm- Part IIIMy Profile

  28. I love this post because it acknowledges that we’re all just real people living real lives. I just wrote yesterday about turning a “failed” Christmas craft into something cute. Thank you for your honesty!
    Michelle recently posted..Easy Last-Minute Advent CalendarMy Profile

  29. Oh, thank goodness! I thought I was the only one with a crashing tree story! We set up our fresh tree, so gorgeous, every ornament in place, and went away for the weekend. We have a lake house that I spent all that weekend decorating, too. Our daughter went to the house for something, and called as soon as she walked in the house. We couldn’t understand her for her laughing – she said the tree had fallen over, was right in front of the door, ornaments had fallen off the tree and rolled all over the floor – thankfully, though, NOT ONE BROKE! After that holiday fiasco, every tree has been tied up with fishing line, just in case…
    And this year? Not started yet – will start this weekend!!!
    Krys72599 recently posted..A 4th DiagnosisMy Profile

  30. I hear ya! And the pressure to have everything done early and looking “picture perfect” when you have a blog about decorating can be daunting.

    I’m trying to cut myself some slack this year. I have even given myself permission not to send out Christmas cards. I’m already feeling guilty about it, though, so just watch–it’ll be December 23rd and I’ll be frantically addressing envelopes at the last minute…ha.
    Julia recently posted..Hooked on Holiday House Tours- Impromptu Linky Party!My Profile

  31. Thank you Melissa and all your faithful, creative bloggers, who are willing to laugh and share their memories with us all! I too have boxes everywhere and continue to tell myself this Christmas will be a “simple” one. Then I find another treasure among my many boxes, those “must have” items that should be a part of our Christmas. And when my 7 year old granddaughter comes by to help with those finishing touches this weekend , I know she too will find those “must have” treasures among this sea of boxes. Blessings to you all, and again thank you =)

  32. This is a tinsy mishap (but I live in a small apartment so it works). I go to put up our Christmas tree, plug in our star topper (copper with light holes for white twinkle lights to shine through) and it won’t turn on. My husband takes it apart, tries all the little bulbs and it still won’t work. I can’t find a topper I like enough to replace the old one so our tree is currently *gasp* topperless O__o.

  33. This was so perfect for me to read, I just wish I had read it on Monday! I usually have the house decorated by the weekend after Thanksgiving, but just couldn’t get motivated. I was determined to finish on Monday and spent the day yelling at my girls while decorating. Talk about missing the point! Thanks for putting it into perspective…..I hope to make the most of the rest of the Christmas season!

  34. I’m definitely there! I gave up on my cute mantel idea. I can’t even keep the stockings up, a little 2 yr old thinks they make cute, really big, gloves. I’ll have a cute mantel again someday, for now I am enjoying the toddler not some cute knickknacks.
    Samantha recently posted..My Christmas MantelMy Profile

  35. I love this post!

    My Christmas decor is just fine and perfectly placed and gorgeous……BUT, I decided to redo my daughters room right in the middle of all the holiday rush so, between all the perfectly placed Christmas decor are BOXES of stuff pulled out of her room, book shelves in the tiny hallway we are squeezing around, piles of clothes and everything else under the sun that will need to go back in that room when I’m done painting!!!

    WHY? Because I told her it would be part of her Christmas gift. :)
    Erin recently posted..12 Days of Christmas – Day 2 – An OrnamentMy Profile

  36. YAY!!! not yay because your house is not perfect, but YAY! because now I feel normal . I have been feeling so unorganized, and it has taken me–now the 3rd day– to get one tree decorated. Thank you so much for this post. I desparately needed it. Love your blog and ideas. Thanks so much.

  37. So far this year I haven’t had any calamities. But last year just as I was putting the angel on top of the tree, I heard a CRACK! The tree stand had cracked and the tree all decorated with glass ornaments started to fall over. Luckily my daughter ran over to help me. We had to take all of the decorations off, take the tree apart and start over by rigging it into a stand for a real tree. So guess what tree we are not using this year? haha I am using a tree that my grandma doesn’t use anymore and it stands perfectly in its stand. You are so right about everything you’ve said in this post. It’s so easy to look at all the lovely photos around blogland and feel like our homes and decor are lacking, etc. I know that my in my photos I am almost always cropping out junk. :) Thanks for the reminder!
    Carmen recently posted..Our Advent CalendarMy Profile

  38. It’s been a rough year all-around. I’m a recently singled mother of three, so last night the ex was at our home to pick up the children and divide some of the Christmas decor. It was so hard letting go of so much history – but I’m hopeful for a fresh start and to slowly accumulate a new history.

    Our worst calamity is that we spent Thanksgiving with my sister (married to Dr. and not at all living in the same finacial plane as us) and now my children each want a tree in their room, like their cousins. Ugh! At Walmart last night, alone, I had the little 4-foot trees in my cart, but then put them back because realistically that money is much wiser spent elsewhere.

    Sometimes a Mama just wants to please her kiddos!
    Missy June recently posted..So Thankful!My Profile

  39. Such an appropriate topic! There’s all kinds of parties out there that I am not ready to link up to.

    My mantle is half empty and my holiday vignette is a glue stick and glitter on the dining room table :-)

    No disasters yet, because I’ve barely started!
    Jessica recently posted..What to Put in Your Fireplace Besides FireMy Profile

  40. Limping along here too… with pumpkins still on my mantle. What an encouraging post. Thanks!

  41. There was one Christmas growing up where the tree fell over not once, but twice. It was also the year my grandmother had brought antique ornaments with her. Eventually the tree was tied to the wall with fishing line. Keep calm and carry on right?

  42. Cyndi Spivey says:

    Oh please let me tell you my calamity!!! When we plug all our lights outside up to one plug it kicks the lights in part of our house off so my husband decided to split it up..half are plugged into the front porch on a timer the other to another plug in the garage on a seperate timer sooooo one side of the lights outside come on FIRST and the other side about an hour LATER. Seriously!!!!! It’s hidious!!! My husband thinks I’m making a big deal out of NOTHING. I give up…….I think I’m going to write a post about this :-)
    Cyndi Spivey recently posted..Some Things I Love about this SeasonMy Profile

  43. Good post! I don’t know if the first photo is of your mantle… but if it is, it looks pretty darn great to me! Here’s wishing you a relaxed, happy Christmas preparation!
    anne recently posted..SCRUMPTIOUS GIFTS UNDER 25!My Profile

  44. Such a great reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be done even! Christmas is not about the decorations, it’s about Jesus. Mercifully, He comes to us no matter what our homes (and lives) look like.

  45. Melissa,
    I’m virtually certain we are all in the same boat one way or another, except Martha (but hubby likes to remind me that she has a staff of many to keep things “perfect”). Reality is good, especially when you get comfortable with it! Can’t wait to see the pretty things you have for us later.
    Karen

  46. My calamities began on Thanksgiving Day when my new stove (had it 4 days) inside oven glass on the door exploded into a million tiny pieces, destroying a 22 lb. turkey. Then last night, after a day of putting lights on the tree, my daughter and I had just finished putting the ornaments on, I turned the tree off for a second, turned it back on and 2 strands of lights were burnt out. I’m so over it at this point. Martha DEFINITELY “does not live here”.

  47. Everytime I stop by, I get something I really need. Today, it was this. It’s so easy to get caught up in looking at everyone’s seemingly perfect photos an to want that in my own home, but I have to remember that no one shows the mess – but it’s still there! Thanks for keeping it real!!!
    Kristin recently posted..Christmas Books CountdownMy Profile

  48. UUUM yes! Huge calamity! I have a 10 ft tree, full of ornament including old family ornament. On Monday (22nd) morning I finally got all the ornament on. Then, I went to work and came home to find the tree leaning forward! We could not get it straightened up, so off everything comes and there were 5 rebbermaid crates of ornament on every flat surface and tree branches all over the floor. My hubby had to rebuild the pole and then got it all put back together but ornaments before Thanksgiving. Picked up all the ornaments for same keeping the put them back on on THanksgiving! Looks great now!
    R

  49. Love you Melissa!! And I’m right there with ya!

    No Christmas calamaties yet, but there is still plenty of time, and a high probability! LOLOL The day is young……..
    Fiona’s Mosaic recently posted..Cold &amp Flu Prep “Thorn In the Flesh” Part TwoMy Profile

  50. Izzy Gold says:

    Melissa,
    Thank you for hosting this perfect space.

  51. Thanks Melissa! I just posted about “worrying” about the holidays and have shared an excerpt from “Streams in the Desert” for those of us who are worrying about whether we have enough time, money and energy! Wishing you a worry free and wonderful Christmas season!
    Karen recently posted..Streams in the DesertMy Profile

  52. Thanks for sharing, Melissa. However, when I read your post, what came to mind is that you live in a house with a lot of love and your priorities are on those who live there and come to visit. Sounds perfect to me!

  53. Jan Udlock says:

    Loved your post today because it’s a good reminder. I’m having a ladies gathering this Sunday so I’ve been decorating for Christmas in pink and silver like crazy which is a brand new color idea for my home. Melissa, I became a fan of Inspired Home during your blogathon.

    On my kitchen sink I have 7 or 8 decorated mason jars with epson salt and candles. The tops are wrapped with pink and silver ribbon and I just love it.

    Thanks.

  54. I haven’t had any Christmas dilemmas or breakdowns yet because I am holding off the decorating for another week or so. I have found that sometimes we are less stressed and happy just to have life as normal for a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving before rushing into the Christmas mode. I do love Christmas! I just want the excitement of Christmas to last until December 25 instead of loosing the wonder and becoming “bah humbug” before it arrives. Check out my post “Holding Off Christmas” if you have a chance!

    Judy :)
    Judy recently posted..Holding Off ChristmasMy Profile

  55. I love Christmas and decorating for Christmas. After 35 years of married life I have plenty of decorations my trouble is finding a place to put them. Every house is a challenge to find the right placement. This will be our fourth Christmas in this house and I am still trying to figure it out. My home will never be a show place but I love seeing pieces that I have acquired over the years. Part of my trouble might be that I love collections: nativities, nutcrackers, churches and Peanuts. Still working to get it all down from the attic and placed in the right spot.

  56. I’m right there with you. Trying to keep it simple, yet wanting it all to be “perfect” in our own way. I got my entire collection of Santa’s out only to put most of them back into storage because *they* were stressing me out!
    Happy holidays to you!
    stephany recently posted..when i get frustrated i move furniture- part 2My Profile

  57. Last night, plugged in the wreath on the front door….I had checked said lights to make sure they worked….hung it, plugged it…no lights. Take wreath down and start trying to find the offending bulb….45 minutes later UNdecorate said wreath, wrestle off non working lights, add another string of lights….REdecorate wreath and hang it on door….good to go. Walk back in the house and step in cat throw up….great….thank goodness for Resolve Carpet Cleaner….

    Life DOES happen!

    But we are Resilient!!

    Lou Cinda

  58. I have the Christmas tree up and that’s it so far {and technically I didn’t even to that…the kids and Grandkids did after Thanksgiving…am I lame or what?}
    I hope to get my act together soon….I would like to do something on the Mantle…can’t wait to see more of your fabulous ideas…..just by reading your ideas….makes me feel like I’m doing something …=)
    Thanks
    teresa recently posted..New Cottage Kitchen light-My Profile

  59. i love how honest you are! :) my husband teased after a disaster attempt at magnolia garland last week that i should blog about my fail. he said it gives other women hope. ha! so i did! all too often bloggers look perfect. and – amazing – we’re not.
    blair recently posted..its a wrap!My Profile

  60. Uh – is it just me, or is it only just time for Christmas decorations now? I’m not under pressure because Christmas is still weeks away. There is ages before Christmas. Not a single present bought, not a single decoration up. I’ll get there, but in my own time. Since when did they have to be up so EARLY? I love Christmas, but until recently, didn’t the tree get decorated Christmas Eve, and then stayed up for the 12 days of Christmas before coming down? The anticipation was in advent, and knowing Christmas was coming – not that Christmas is here already, or else what is the day itself for – we’ve already done it all!

  61. Ahhhhhhh. That is the sound of me breathing. Thankfully nothing has gone wrong yet—–but I have “opted out” of a lot of things just to make things more simple and frankly enjoyable for myself.

    For example tomorrow I am going to make TWO different types of Christmas cookies instead of FIVE. (I was talking to a neighbor today and she makes TWENTY FIVE different kinds. WOW!)

    I also opted out of hanging an extra swag above my garage. I knew it would look super cute—but I also knew it would mean more hustle and bustle and I really just wanted to go inside and drink my coffee. I have nothing to prove to anyone so, I opted out. The garland I did end up hanging looks pretty good to me…and that is good enough for me.

    Thanks for your post!

  62. I had a one year old try to eat my cinnamon sticks that I had out in a glass with silver rimmed bowl. Yuck, Yuck and Yuck! Mine aren’t that small anymore…my first year to truely yet simply decorate.

  63. Melissa, this is ALWAYS why I come back to you – for keeping it real. Thank you my dear! My house is so NOT picture-worthy for linking up to any parties this week, but maybe I’ll get my act together next week! And really, I want my home to look festive and beautiful to celebrate this special time of year, but where are my priorities? Making my house look pretty for my blog, or for my family? Or chilling out on decorating and shopping so I can actually ENJOY the season?!? I love it over here and am happy to drop by any time even if your home isn’t perfect at all times!
    Lisa recently posted..The Season of GivingMy Profile

  64. Does re-fracturing an old fracture count? (knee, avascular necrosis aka dead joint) yup, for all my blathering about dwarf Alberta spruces in tubs secured with tube sand, one loud “craaack” that made two 80-lb dogs jump has eliminated even my scantily clad (with Cmas hankies) baby trees. Can’t drive (brake foot,slammed once for small unsupervised child,omg that hurt), walking minimal, not improving& only keeping it in the air with ice pax helps at all. I will be seriously minimalist if at all this year. Bummed, but that’s ok. I’ve always been a late starter,not a Thanksgiving decorator, and since Epiphany is truly the 12th day of Cmas,my stuff always stayed up at least that long. Sometimes till after Mom’s bday on the 8th. Or longer. :D I’ve seen dogtail&crazycat stories around blogland,so mine will stay out of print. ;) am just relieved to know how many truly human, living, loving & imperfect folks are out there. Whew. -s-

  65. About 5 years ago; we had our tree topple down…yikes!! Good thing that myself and our little man weren’t in the way!

    This year, I have “regular” decor up, but I don’t have our Christmas tree up. Hopefully this weekend. Not in much of a Christmassy mood, but I need to do it for the little guy.
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman recently posted..Gingersnap RecipeMy Profile

  66. PS–Melissa, whatever piles may be hiding behind the camera, you totally *rock*. I love your ideas, and you could finesse a moldy sock. No kidding! Personally, i’m glad you’re not Martha. I like you better for being who you are&still accomplishing such “totally kewl” decor. -s-

  67. Oh, how I love your blog! I love peeking at all the parties, too, but then I feel really crappy about myself and even start to feel anxiety because I never have it together enough to post my photos on time, or I’m not nearly as talented as the amazing decorating bloggers! Reading this post relaxed me and reminded me of what I hold to be important and dear. And you said it so well!
    xo

  68. Melissa, I love you! Your realness (is that a word?) makes me feel better about my imperfect home and self :)

    We’re hoping to get our decorations up this weekend. We’re a little later than usual but, it’s all good!
    Leen recently posted..Board and BattenMy Profile

  69. How funny–my tree right now is in complete disarray! My one and a half year old pulled it down on top of himself, the stand broke, there is a huge hole where branches fell off, and the star on top is bent and leaning to the right! (The baby is fine, by the way; he was just a bit shocked!) It has been standing like that for a few days now; we have a new stand for it and can fix the rest of it (it’s a fake tree), but we just haven’t gotten around to it yet! Well, the lights still look pretty anyway!
    Hope you and your family have a great Christmas! Love your blog!

  70. The first year we had our cats, we came home from being out-of-town to discover most of the lower half of our artificial tree had been knocked loose and fallen to the floor. The garland was also hanging sadly in one long, straight strand, and most of the ornaments were laying on the floor in the midst of it all. Thankfully, the cats haven’t messed with the tree again after that! However, we *DO* have a toddler again this year!

  71. I came home the other day and found the Christmas tree had moved about three feet to the left. I have two very large dogs who hang in the living room while I’m at work. They looked up at me with complete innocence like they had nothing to do with the tree migration. I suppose the tree just moved itself? I’m just wondering how they kept it upright while they moved it over!

  72. “Christmas calamity”? Girl I AM a calamity! LOL!

    Layla :-)
    Layla recently posted..Master Bedroom Re-do Update- “Plankification 2010″ ContinuesMy Profile

  73. Great and inspiring post. We have a puppy that likes to chew on our tree decorations, and ate a hole in my wool carpet this week. (She hid under the large ottoman to get to it. Lots of fun. My goal for today is to clear my dining room table. It received the piles of things that I moved to put out our Christmas decor. I am making two piles, 1.find a spot to store it, and 2.yard sale/donate bin. I’m liking that lots of bigger pieces are going in number 2.

  74. “Life slows me down because it should.” I can’t tell you how much I love that line. Thank you….blogs that show authentically imperfect people are endure much, much longer that perfectly decorated masoleums.

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