This week, I think this post is a PSA for anyone who secretly wants to have the lowest-key holiday season ever, as your inbox (and mine) are bombarded by table setting emails. If you're not feeling it this year, don't buy into the hype that everything has to be picture perfect, with place setting table decor set to the nines, and you in the kitchen 24/7 cooking and running through the list of to-do's the whole time. Do you want to spend your holidays with the people that come to visit you, or do you want to spend it in the kitchen cleaning your china?
When my kids were little, I went so big for the holidays. I loved a good theme, and really made the environment festive. I loved, and still love, cooking with everyone - we all pitch in and each has a specific dish they're in charge of in order to spread the love and chip in to make the meal complete. We literally eat until we're practically comatose and luckily I've taught my crew to clean as we go so there's not a huge mountain of dishes to climb after we eat. Lately after our holiday meal, we'll all lay around, watch a movie, and call it a day. Some people will sneak off to watch football, while others play video games - no matter what we're doing, I just love the together time.
This time of year is really about the people around the table, not the table setting or even what's on the menu - at least that's where I've landed in my *wisdom era.*
Holiday Decorating Ideas
If you're trying to wean yourself off the full, blown out holiday decor and give yourself some peace, here are some low-key holiday decorating ideas! I highly advocate for things like paper placemats that are perforated - they come with really fun textures and patterns, and all that mess goes right in the trash once you're done. Same with dishes - if you're cooking all day, join me in using disposable plates and napkins this time, as you load pots and pans in the dishwasher as you go.
Using a clear vase or a water pitcher you most likely have already, and gathering branches on your walks that week can give you a gorgeous centerpiece with very little fanfare. Back when our kids were smaller, we'd collect pine cones and acorns and fill vases to the brim for Thanksgiving, then spray paint those in gold or silver and mix in with metallic ball ornaments for Christmas. Add a table runner that you really love and use it every year - done and done.
Don't stress or overthink things. If you don't enjoy cooking, order out. Volunteer to serve others instead - check your local newspapers or neighborhood groups for ideas as they typically post suggestions.
After losing so many friends, both my parents and in-laws, and other family members over the last seven years, I just want to spend every moment I can with the people I love, because it really all is just a flash in time. Love on your people, y'all and don't sweat the small stuff!