A “Light” Conversation

It’s getting close to the time when we all start thinking about putting up Christmas decorations, inside and out.  I thought it might be interesting to see just how much and what sort of decorating some of our Blotanical gardeners do for the holidays…those that are willing to share.  I am particularly interested in hearing your responses to the question at the end of this post — it requires a bit of thought, I believe.

Are you the sort who goes all out with your decorations…

Going all out...what a lot of work!

Or do your decorations strike a balance between “going all out” and “keeping it simple”…


Beautiful and somewhere "in between"...

Or do you strive for simplicity…

A simple fir wreath...just as beautiful

Now here’s my question:  which of these decorated properties speaks most of the “spirit of Christmas” to you?  Why? I’ll share my thoughts on this after a few of your answers. :-)  Ho-Ho-Ho!


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

8 thoughts on “A “Light” Conversation”

  1. I strive for simplicity, especially with outdoor decorations. I hang evergreen garlands woven with small white lights up my front porch rail, put white (electric) candles in the windows, and hang wreaths. No yard displays or other exterior lights. Inside I make arrangements of greenery and berries from the garden on my mantel and table. I put up two Christmas trees – one with angel ornaments and one with ornaments we’ve collected over the years.
    I love that simple wreath with the snow on it!

  2. Nancy, while all are nice, my preference is the last one, that of the wreath with a single red bow. I do have an appreciation for contemporary decorating, ie. the black Christmas tree, but prefer fresh greens, and red bows of velvet, and clear lights. When shopping at the local greenhouses, I stand amazed at all the unique and wonderful ideas for decking the halls, the mantleplaces, and trees and enjoy every iota of it; but when it comes down to what I use in my home, it is the tradional decor that makes Christmas in my home.

  3. I agree with Ginny and Shirley and throw my hat in for simplicity. The joy of the season manifests itself through the love and generosity we show each other. A simple gesture of kindness to a complete stranger, a Christmas card sent to faraway but not forgotten friends, and meaningful moments of celebration shared with family and friends. I strive for simplicity in my holiday decor as I want our home to feel welcoming and calm – a refuge of sorts from the busyness of the season, a place where all can gather and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

    Thanks for posting a question that sets me thinking about the upcoming season in a meaningful way!

  4. Last year I went completely simple with zero tree. Sprigs of greenery with tiny lights on the mantle. Stockings hung on the mantle. Nothing outside at all, everything inside consisted of greenery and candles and tiny lights. Loved it. Zero stress. However, this year I might ramp it up a bit and put something simple outside. Last year was the first year in this our temporary home and frankly my heart wasn’t here. This year we’re still here so I’d best just get over it and find some HAPPY!

  5. I vote for the bottom pic. It is nice and simple. We put lights up in both the front and back yards. There are a lot of young kids in the neighborhood and their parents have told us that they like them. it seems the the houses with no kids put up the most lights. When our kids were young, we never put lights up. We never had the time.

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone. It seems like the general consensus is for keeping it simple, as it would be for me, as well. We hang a few icicle lights around the rail of the deck and hang a couple of plain (unlit) evergreen wreaths on each side of the steps, and that’s about it. Of course, living in an apartment as we do, our options are rather limited anyway. I like simple and meaningful over gaudy and glaring.

    However, having said that, while simple may seem to personify the true spirit of the season best, I have another thought on the glitzy decorations. The top photo was taken about 3 miles from where I live and this gentleman spends WEEKS putting these decorations together. The photo doesn’t do them justice, really. While it might seem like overkill — commercial, almost — I’m sure all this work isn’t done for the benefit of the owner. Cars are sometimes lined up on the side of the road as children take in the almost magical sight. To me, his hard work is more for the benefit of others than for himself — and that act of giving pleasure to others certainly defines the spirit of Christmas.

    My parents have a 40′ cedar tree on their property that my Dad used to light up every year. There were so many lights on the tree that he had to install a separate fuse box for them and split the power between the top and bottom of the tree. There were thousands of lights to be checked, replaced, hooked, fastened, and wound around and it took him and several helpers most of the day to prepare it. But what a magical sight it was when it was lit! People came from 30 miles away to see it every year. He once had a call from one of the neighbours early one evening, asking him if he could please put the tree lights on because their daughter wouldn’t go to bed until she had seen “Santa’s tree”. :) The joy the tree gave to others is the reason why my Dad went to all that work. Eventually the tree became just too large and my Dad became considerably smaller and they don’t light it any more. (Although, I’ve threatened to do it again one of these years…)

    In reality, I believe most of us decorate for the enjoyment of those who pass by — and that act of sharing and giving truly IS what the spirit of Christmas is about. I look forward to more of your comments.

  7. When the kids were little I was a gaudy decorator for Christmas. LOL! But for myself now I love the simpler decorating and old fashioned. After years in the retail business where we put out Halloween and Christmas all at once it really burns a person out fast on the commercialization of Christmas.

  8. I always strive for a simple Christmas. If I were decorating just for myself…I would have a very simple..natural Christmas.I love the use of natures offerings in my decorating. That being said, I think that young children love the more fun look with santas, reindeer, snowmen, flashing lights etc. I had to compromise with my family years ago… using natural elements plus santas and snowmen . Now, I put “collections” of snowmen in the dry sink and use santas on tables when the little kids are here for dinner. Now when my big kids come in…it’s not…”Where’s my old santa , where’s my homemade snowman, where’s the paper chain?” Christmas is filled with tradition…and nothing spells tradition like our decorations.

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