How to Decorate Your New Midwestern Home for Christmas

Anna just wrote a lovely post about her design principles for decorating her Midwestern house for Christmas. Well, I, too, now have a Midwestern home (Woooohooooo!), but my principles are pretty different from hers for a few reasons: 1) I've owned my home for less than a week, 2) I'm not actually living there yet, and 3) We're going to New York for Christmas through New Year's, so our time to enjoy our decorations is limited. Oddly enough, this was almost our exact scenario when we bought our house in New York two years ago, except we were going to Minnesota. Hopefully buying a house and moving every two years doesn't become a pattern, but if, heaven forbid, it did, I would know how to handle it. Decorating your very new home for Christmas comes down to two basic principles:

1) Get out decorations that are easy.

By easy, I mean things like tablecloths or the garlands your grandma just gave you or the little tree mom lets you borrow and has already mostly decorated. I was seriously debating getting out my nativities and wall hangings and everything else, because darn it, people keep posting really cute pictures of their Christmassy homes, but I've decided I just can't go there. I don't even know where my regular wall hangings and decorative items are going yet. A lot of them have already been unpacked in the course of unloading boxes, and I definitely do not feel like repacking ANYTHING right now. I'd rather have my house more ready to go after we come back from New York. So, easy decorations it is!

Garland from Grandma? Easy.

Garland from Grandma? Easy.

Tablecloth borrowed from my mom and runner (the latter made by my mother-in-law!)? Easy.

Tablecloth borrowed from my mom and runner (the latter made by my mother-in-law!)? Easy.

Random paper tree that was packed in my dining room boxes for some reason? Easy.

Random paper tree that was packed in my dining room boxes for some reason? Easy.

2) Accept that your decorations will coexist with the wreckage of a house being unpacked.

I'm an all-or-nothing girl, usually. If I can't complete something (which unfortunately usually means complete it perfectly), why bother at all? Not only is this unhealthy thinking in general, but if I follow it in the case of Christmas decorations, I would either 1) Kill myself to get everything unpacked and put away and then get all of my Christmas decorations up for about a week or 2) Have no decorations up at all and be severely lacking in Christmas spirit.

So, I am practicing good mental health by having incomplete decorations and a little bit of moving mess at the same time. I am ashamed by how much this state of affairs distresses me at times. But if there's anything I've learned through this moving process, it's that I need to be more okay when things aren't fully resolved or done or meeting my (unrealistic, perfectionistic) expectations. This situation is good practice. And, having a little Christmas cheer makes unpacking more fun.

Easy decorations (garland from my Grandma, tree from my Mom) coexisting with stuff I haven't figured out where to put yet.

Easy decorations (garland from my Grandma, tree from my Mom) coexisting with stuff I haven't figured out where to put yet.

Easy poinsettia combined with a table that will look a lot nicer once I find the tablecloth that goes with it.

Easy poinsettia combined with a table that will look a lot nicer once I find the tablecloth that goes with it.

To sum up: Keep it simple, keep your sanity. And God bless us, everyone.