Monday, November 30, 2009

Joyful Holiday Decor

I don't know about you guys, but when all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins way early I feel myself getting a little anxious. I love joining in on all the fun, but come on now - can't we relax and enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving without being inundated with reindeer and elves? Having worked retail for the past 5 years, I have developed a bit of a bah-humbug attitude about how early Santa comes to town and the ridiculously over-the-top things that stores do to reel in the shoppers, like "conventiently" cranking up the AC in August, just to get the people to try & buy sweaters (I swear this really happens).

Here in Guatemala early Christmas prepareations have reached a whole new level. Nearly a month and half we stopped by a Cemaco store (think Ace Hardware meets Bed Bath & Beyond) and it just so happened to be the day that they were pulling out all the Christmas stops (October 3rd, I do believe). And believe it or not, shoppers were cruising the asiles with cartfulls of holiday paraphernalia and nothing was even on sale ( I double checked!). How ridiculous! Granted Guatemalans don't really celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving, but 3 months early - give me a break!

While I'm on this little rant, let's talk about the unoriginality of some of the holiday decor that's out there. Firetruck red, grass green, white, maybe throw in a bit of silver or gold. Boring. Let's get creative people! How about mixing it up with some limegreen, turquoise, or even (gasp!) a "non-holiday" bronze or rust! And don't even get me started on that tacky metallic tinsel or gnarly multi-colored lights. (Maybe I'm feeling a little sensitive because that is all I can seem to find in Antigua.) Just because we are being holly and jolly, doesn't mean that our decor has to go to pot!

Now not that I'm a profesional designer or anything, but I normally at least try to chose decorative items that evoke that warm holiday feeling without being quite so obviously Santa,Rudolph & Frosty. Try garland with white lights, twisted with twine of a cotton ribbon, throw in a few holly berries and pinecones and you've got a very natural Christmas feeling. Maybe go neutral with various fabrics and ribbons in creams, tans, and golds surrounded by white candles reflected by a mirror. Or on a brighter note, pair some metallic grass green with a fuschia print ribbon, toss in some crazy silver and white snowflakes and a couple of limes to accessorize and you've got a more youthful, lively feeling.

Since my holiday decorating buget was cut pretty much eliminated this year, I'm embracing the fact that we'll be keeping things simple. Maybe a couple of pretty ribbons, some great cumcuat garland (that I'm hoping they still have in Xela when we go this weekend) and whatever else this DIYer can scrounge up at the market. With my frugal budget in mind I will say though that when I unexpectly came across a must-have-splurge item a few days ago, I carefully weighed the pros and cons and then dove right in. Look at my joyful find (I hope it's ok that I stole your moniker just this once K & T!).

Holiday themed molas from Panama.

Aren't they amazinly original and representative of our time in Latin America? I've been admiring the molas in a local store for months now, but have wanted to hold out until I make it to Panama to purchase some straight from the source. However, when I saw flipped past the first one that says Navidad 25 (humorsly spelled incorrectly) and came upon the Santas, I just knew I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Won't they be a wonderul holiday keepsake to pass on through the generations of little Lengachers yet to come, as a reminder of when Great Grandmother Krista & Great Grandfather Ben lived in Guatemala? I just know they will be. All that's left to do is fit them up with some simple frames (I'm still shopping around for selection) and get them up on the wall in time for a respectable beginning to our holiday preparations!


Kels said...

steal away - we love a good JOYFUL find!

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