A few years ago my family had the opportunity to travel to Germany and France over the Holidays. At the time we only had the three girls and they were ages 11, 7 & 4. They were still pretty young. We were going to be there for the whole month of December and were lucky enough to have a house to stay in rather than a cramped hotel room. This was a blessing and a curse at the same time. Here we were in this Christmas wonderland with my young family and it was my job to create the holiday for my family without ANY of my normal Christmas decorations.
(This was a picture I took in Heidelberg of a cute family walking their Christmas tree home)
For years I had been collecting Christmas treasures to usher in the Holiday spirit every year. I had boxes and boxes of garlands, snowmen, ornaments and lights. To me, pulling out the boxes every year the day after Thanksgiving was what invited the Christmas magic into our home. What was I to do without anything! I didn’t even have stockings to hang for my sweet little girls. Our home was nice but it was empty and devoid of the holiday spirit. All the hours and days of planning for the trip… I made sure we had the proper clothes, any possible medications that we may need while we were there, our passports, gloves and mittens… I tried to think of everything. The one thing I hadn’t planned on was decorating our home away from home for the holidays.
I had a little time, and I started to look around and observe what the holiday décor was like in all of the places that we visited. The shops and restaurants, the homes of our neighbors and friends and you know what I found has changed my philosophy on decorating forever. The Germans keep it very simple and elegant.
(Just a simple decoration at a restaurant in Heidelberg)
You would never find a colossal blowup snow globe in someone’s front yard. They tend to focus on bringing simple but beautiful elements into their homes to reverently welcome in the spirit of the season. They haven’t forgotten what the season is all about. It’s not about who can have the biggest and brightest Christmas tree, it’s about family and tradition. Their décor is meaningful and thoughtful and is made to enhance their homes… not over power them.
(Here is our humble tree)
So, the girls and I found a little tree at a local store, it was not exactly traditional, but it fit our needs. Then we set about on a treasure hunt to find some new traditions to take home in order to always remember our magical time there. Now every year when we pull out our Christmas boxes we have such memories to relive and stories to tell. From that experience, I’ve taken the time to rethink my massive collection of Holiday STUFF. I weeded out all of the items that really didn’t enhance our home or really have any meaning and focused on simple beauty and creating memories.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sears. The opinions and text are all mine.0