Tip #42: An addendum to last week: deck the halls, but keep things simple (also, be kind).
Last week was more about decorating the outside of your tiny spot than the inside. I’ll share a few more of my wintertime additions next week, but in the meantime, here’s my wintry swag and few words on simplicity & kindness:
The absolute best part about December in New York are the tiny fir forests that pop up everywhere. You can hardly walk a block without being ushered through a wooded passage. Honestly. One minute you’re window shopping and the next you’re flanked on either side by Christmas trees. In these moments, I like to take in huge sniffs of the air. James gets embarrassed, but I am not in the least bit worried about looking deranged. Come January, the little thickets will be all cleared away and what am I going to sniff then? Let us not list the possibilities.
Last week as I was walking by one such wintry wonderland, I noticed a huge pile of discarded branches. The scraggly looking boughs that typically hang awkwardly from the bottom of the trees had been lopped off and were nestled in a corner of the vendor’s tent. When I asked the young vendor if I might purchase a fistful or two, she looked at my quizzically and proceeded to pile branch after branch into my hands. She wouldn’t accept payment and sent me on my way weighed down by fir but buoyed by her goodwill.
In this season, and always, kindness is the most important thing.
When I got home, I lashed together a few of the branches into a simple swag and hung it by the chimney mirror with care. I didn’t fuss with it. I tied it up with a plain ribbon and that was that. Earlier in the week I had been overwhelmed by my own fervent merry-making and had decided to decorate the surf board with colored Christmas lights. I’m still convinced it would have looked amazing, but without being able to adulterate the thing with glue or tacks, defeat was mine. I ended up with a lot of melted surf board wax and a pile of colored bulbs at my feet.
Simplicity triumphs again.