Holidays Speak To Us Through The Decorations We Cherish

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By Barbara Kaplan –

As I was putting my Halloween decorations out this year, I thought what a pleasure it gives me to have these symbols of the holidays. The pieces I’ve chosen have become sweet memories. For instance, I have a large white porcelain pumpkin that matches my black-and-white home. I adorn it with orange pumpkins, but my personal black-and-white statement is there.

I also have an orange glass lamp with a black shade that I only bring out during October. I use it to temporarily replace a lamp in my kitchen and then I move it on Halloween night to the table outside my front door to light the way to my surprises for the trick-or-treaters. I pack it away each Nov. 1 until the next year.

For Thanksgiving, I have other accessories. I love using my white, brown and black turkey serving pieces, which I set on an autumn-colored tablecloth. I then add a mix of napkins in those colors. It’s also lovely to randomly add autumn leaves on the table. You can use votive or colored candles to make it complete. It’s not expensive to rent a tablecloth and napkins so you have different colors every year. Finally, I place my festive wooden turkey plaque at the front door to welcome my guests.

When I open my cupboard, I am always excited to see the potpourri of colors I store for the holidays. It’s like old friends coming to visit. There are times I introduce new friends into my collection, as my family of decorations and ornaments grow.

The holidays are all about color! Much of my collection has no particular holiday symbolism. I simply use the right color for the holiday. If there is a particular symbolism to the holiday, I blend color with those pieces that carries the theme further. When using color only, you can start the holiday early and end late.

The other day I was at an accessory store with a friend. She saw hand towels with a Christmas design on them for her powder room. She asked what I thought of them. I was concerned that people would not want to use them and that, if someone did, the towels would be ruined. I suggested that perhaps colored towels would be just as effective. I recommended red or green, accented with gold or white, and they would be washable and replaceable. Next I suggested that Christmas ornaments be placed around the area for theme and fun. As we talked, she remembered several Christmas decorations she could use in the powder room.

It’s possible to celebrate each holiday with your personal decorations that make a statement about you. Think about the pieces you might have tucked away and how you could use them to decorate for the holidays.

My holiday decorations have become a holiday ritual. “Holiday rituals – activities that invite us to step out of ordinary time – play a strong and important role in emotional health,” says Andrew Weil. He goes on to say, “They deepen relationships, allow the expression of important values, and offer a sense of security and continuity.”

Your rooms will look beautiful and give you a feeling of celebration. So consider what you can do to put you and your visitors in the mood of the holiday. Remember, rooms have no feelings, YOU DO!

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