I started decorating for Christmas today, but I've still got a lot to do. This old house was built in 1909. Like most houses built 104 years ago, the rooms are large and the ceilings are tall. It takes a lot of decorating to have any kind of impact in a house so big. I had to buy quite a few decorations during the first several years after I bought this home. I could still add more, but I don't need a house this big anymore. The plan is to downsize in the near future ... and I don't plan on having a house big enough to use all of the decorations I already have ... so I don't let myself buy anything new.
Over the years I've gotten more efficient in getting the decorations put up. The biggest help was a pre-lit tree. Not having to string lights on a 9' tree saves a couple of evenings of decorating! The first couple of years I couldn't really afford an artificial tree big enough for the tall ceilings and size of the room, so I had to buy a real trees. I hate real trees. I hate having to add water, I hate vacuuming up the needles, and I hate the sap that gets all over my hands when decorating ... and then again when I'm undecorating. Yuk!
It used to take well over a week to decorate, but I can usually get it done in three or four days now ... less if the kids help ... which they rarely do (much to my chagrin). When they were little (and no help at all), they always wanted to help. I let them, but it really just made more work for me, but I never told them that ... I let them think their assistance was saving me work (instead of the fact that their "help" made more work for me!). I was so excited when they were big enough and old enough to actually be helpful rather than a hindrance. Sadly, once they hit that magical age, they no longer felt the need to help. So, I usually do 90% (or more) of the decorating. I've gotten good at nagging them until they can't stand to listen to me anymore, but the task is predominantly mine.
I spent about seven hours decorating today, and I've probably got at least that much more yet to do. It's so cold out, though, that I don't know if I will be able to force myself to go outside to hang wreathes on all the windows and drape the garland around the picture window at the front of the house ... but I might brave the elements and hang them.
Once I get everything decorated, I'll post a few of my favorite pictures. This big. old house is a lot of work in upkeep, and it costs a small fortune to heat and cool ... but it sure looks pretty all decorated for Christmas :)
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