Personal Design Expression for the Holidays

December 13, 2010

Maybe it’s just me…because I know many in the design field who go whole hog for the holidays and any seasonal change for that matter. I however seem to do minimal personal modifications for these landmark opportunities of design statements in the home.
We’re in the fast lane and that might be part of it. Not having time to devote to such luxuries as removing a layer of life to make room for the seasonal layer of ornamentation – might be part of it -only to replace and re-do a month later…Or is it the busman’s holiday? Not so for some in my profession, but for me, I don’t focus on modifying my personal environment with the enthusiasm and objectivity – if not subjectivity that I do for my clients when it comes to holiday décor.
Retain my services to define your personal holiday statement and I can conjure up magnificent expressions for anything from starry nights of theatrical lighting, glitz and bling, pyrotechnics for New Years and /or the 4th of July all the way to pastel eggs and draping bouquets of French tulips as Easter approaches and Spring subtly announces itself. Don’t invite the idea of livestock into your request, as full manger scenes and pens of bunnies being corralled (try that) by a man-sized person in a costume assuming the Easter bunny role – is not out of the question – it can be over the top and very much fun!
Perhaps it’s because I am “on” so much of the time. And as much as I LOVE the challenges of design, coming home is a quiet time – a place to renew and not to be so “on” that I need to go over the top. My canvas is all over the place in other people’s environments whereas yours might be exclusively your home – so paint it festive – decorate it dazzling for the holidays and the seasonal shifts that offer so much opportunity in the way of personal expression.
In recent years, I hate to admit, I have even given myself a bi on the exercise of putting up a tree when I know that we will be away for the actual Christmas day festivities or that we are not indulging the kids as they might be out-of-town…on those years a big poinsettia from Costo fits the bill. Seriously…that sounds terrible – but a big red poinsettia can make quite a statement – that with the wreaths on the front doors, white lights on the shrubbery and a token bouquet of red flowers in the vases…put on the Christmas music the entire month of December – Voila!
“Bah Humbug” you say. Yet, the satisfaction – the genuine pleasure derived can vary among people. Ok, this year I wrapped garland around the banister with bows and lights – that’s when I pull out the stops…but this year is different. We are here from the “almost” front of the month through Christmas without interruption – often we find ourselves leaving for two weeks and arriving back in time to screech into Christmas with no holds barred, frantically getting Christmas cards out (no doubt with a photos having been taken elsewhere on the 15th or 18th or 22nd of the month), wrapping packages and throwing them at the post office counter, paying a premium for expedited delivery, or not, in the nick of time – or maybe after Christmas – why not milk the fun for longer if possible? Sometimes I have actually been in the position of questioning a dual purpose Christmas card and Valentine greeting in one fell swoop!
“When do you bake cookies?” you say. Well, my grandmother, Dee Dee was the queen of cookie baking and as I said in this very blog as we approached Thanksgiving, my cousin has taken the lead in that department – I enjoy eating others’ confections – but time to bake cookies? Hello?
The Renaissance woman, the Anjolie (Did I spell that correctly? Well, you the reader either know the reference or you don’t.) model who can do it all…Really? I consider myself busy most days. I know we all pick our priorities and we often saddle ourselves with onerous projects that further impede our ability to function evenly at a comfortable pace – but do what you like and do what you can and splash some red and green about with the accents of your personal choice – shimmers of silver and gold – rich brilliance of jewel toned amethyst, topaz, garnet, emerald and sapphire – boil some cinnamon sticks or evergreen cuttings on the stove in lieu of baking or erecting a live tree for hours…define your holiday environment – enjoy – mix a Manhattan – Cheers!

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One Response to “Personal Design Expression for the Holidays”


  1. Patti, I’m emailing you the perfect card that I received yesterday. It says” Happy”…then follows this check list: “Birthday, Anniversary, Holiday, Moment”. One simply checks the occasion or occasions and off you go!

    Of course, for your version we would add “Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day” and for grins let’s toss in “President’s Day – Lincoln & George”. Oops–almost left out
    “MLK Day”.


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