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December 12, 2017

All the Best Holiday Decorations Have a Story

The holiday season is upon us, and I love it.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is in the airit seems like everyone is handing out cookies, and that tree in my living room is making our house smell pretty decent.

Our tree is full of ornaments from near and far, some of them prettier than others. I treasure the little devil with missing horns. (I don’t know why this little devil exists, but I do know my parents got it in Germany when I was a baby and it’s been on my tree for my entire life.) I love the probably-not-crocheted-by-hand angel on top of the tree I bought at the dollar store so many years ago, and I love every single handmade ornament my children brought home over the years. I deeply regret the loss of my Hardee’s ashtray ornament and I wish I knew what happened to it. (Raise your hand if you have one of those. Yes? We’re likely close in age and may have been in the same Brownie troop.

My holiday decorations are eclectic, goshdarnit, and I’m sticking to them. You know that commercial? The one where the smiling woman swipes a screen –- and what to her wondering eyes should appear, but a whole new matching room full of Christmas? And the most exciting thing about it is that it’s all so very affordable! Or so says the commercial. But my decorations are even more affordable, even if they don’t match.

Every year when we open the holiday boxes, we share memories. My whole family knows where I got my mistletoe. My college roommate Beth made it for me, with materials from around the apartment and the Dollar Store, because we couldn’t find any fresh and for whatever reason I was super into it. The leaves were plucked from silk flowers, the berries from a pink beaded necklace, painted with white nail polish. 

My mistletoe is perfect, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re feeling festive and you need to add to your holiday stash, don’t just pull out your iPad and swipe left for “Hygge Noel” or right for “Fab Fifties Festive.” Head to Goodwill and see what you can find. Maybe you’ll find a garland or three, or a box of beloved ornaments that can be yours to love, or the materials to make something destined to be a star in your holiday history. Put it all together and make it your own. The memories are worth a lot more than a matching set.