One thing that is sort of lost on me is buying decorations for every single holiday.
I once knew a woman who was perpetually running out to buy lots of seasonal- or holiday-oriented decorative crap, big groups of decorative items made to go together - I just don't get it. What's up with a need to constantly re-decorate and tweak the arrangement of one's home? I mean, I like putting up a Christmas Tree, but you'll never see me go overboard with decorations other than that, and even that I have to do my own way, as you know. I think if you're a person with a lot of time or a personal army of Oompa Loompas (Martha Stewart), then it's great to decorate.
Oh, actually, the one person I know whose seasonal decorating is impeccable and thoughtfully, artfully done is my longtime friend Kim over at Something to Say. Click here and scroll down to see the night photos of her pumpkins and on down to see some of her decorations with twigs and paper lanterns over the table. What Kim does with decoration is GLORIOUS, actually, and the opposite of the whole store-bought shebang I'm griping about. One look at the jack-o-lanterns will convince you what an incredible artistic eye and hand she has, but that's what's great about her decoration - it's not necessarily anything she purchased - it's the way she has of taking things and unifying elements and bringing outdoor things in and making something genuinely festive and inspiring of the surroundings.
Actually, it's not even just the way people buy entire groupings of themed seasonal stuff - it's trendy living in general that amazes me. At work I see the apartments of young people who must have purchased an entire "room" from West Elm or some such, and other than the occasional framed photo or article of clothing, there is no mix that reflects any real personality or in any way signifies the taste of the actual occupant. The home of the holiday-decorator I knew always looked like it was whisked in freshly from the Pier I floor.
Of course, I've explained that my sense of decor is of the Neo-Trashical™ school in which one mixes antiques and junk store finds with posh new appointments from hip emporia the world over. No, I have no cinder-block shelving, but beyond that, pretty much any crappy thing can tickle my fancy. But all that is reflective - it's not who I am, but symbolic of my craving for variety and texture, and though I might move things occasionally or add something to the mix once in a great while, it's part of home and if you took my stuff out and beamed in a showroom-full of "perfect" furnishings from Horchow or Ligne-Roset or wherever - I'd walk in, feel a chill and immediately say "where's all my shit?!!!" and promptly vent hella spleen on all responsible parties.
Anyway. It's funny, because when I was very young, I bought some incredible vintage pieces of furniture in thrift stores, but all the while I was thinking how I could do a smouldering decor scheme if I had a grandiose budget. Now I know that sometimes, the coolest thing you'll ever own is that wacky 50's sofa you got at Thrift Town for $40.