For years many of my holiday parties were planned to also fill content needs for a variety of different things connected to my various businesses. Often we were doing Christmas in August to feed the press with holiday ideas so by the time December rolled around I was so over it all that I usually used the few weeks to travel.
Finally the time came when I didn’t have to worry about ‘party planning decor’ for anyone but myself and business co-workers/friends. But by then I’d set the bar of perfection so high that those same guests expected the same big hoopla. So a few more holiday seasons went by where I did not want to disappoint…half ego and half because I just couldn’t stop until the finished product looked like a magazine layout. After the all-day open house finished, everyone went home. Being single with family on the other side of the continent I just stood and stared at it all wondering if I had in fact totally lost it!
Then came the years when I didn’t have to decorate with so much as a pine cone if I didn’t want to. But being ceremonious and a bleeding heart sentimentalist, I did a fresh tree with nothing on it but white lights and it was stunning. I filled a bowl or two with Christmas bulbs and dried pomegranates strategically placed, and an organic wreath on the door. I always made sure I had firewood and fresh candles if people happened to drop by. I’d crank up the holiday music and bob’s your uncle.
I was amazed at just how little I had to do to give the house a bit of Christmas spirit, especially if I also had cinnamon apple cider steeping on the stove top. I realized that this business of turning one’s home into Bloomingdale’s or Santa’s village was so not necessary. The smell of pine and spice, a warm fire, little white lights, shiny bulbs here and there and carols playing was all I had to do to make it feel like Christmas.
When I moved to Santa Fe, the whole town, with its snow frosted adobe structures, red chili ristras everywhere and Southwest interiors already filled with touches of woven blankets, Native American baskets crammed with firewood and paper bags with sand and candles tracing the rooftops and lining pathways…it was more fun being out in it all, than home.
Now I realize that there are a vast many people who adore the holidays, have family and children to consider and wait the whole year to start the decoration process. But increasingly there are the same amounts of people who, for a variety of reasons, are alone and feel bad that they can’t duplicate their Christmases of the past. Often decorating the house for one person can be even more depressing than if you simply did nothing. I’ve learned that Christmas is a shared experience but it doesn’t mean you can’t share it with people other than blood relatives.
Here in Santa Fe I visit the festooned hotels, meet local folks for drinks in the festive atmosphere of guests coming and going. It’s something I highly recommend for people who are alone. Don’t stay home or feel you can’t go out by yourself. People are in generally more festive moods and great spirits. At your favorite hotel you can meet people from all over along with the locals who you never see out at any other time all for the small price of a few glasses of wine.
If you’re friendly and radiate warmth you’d be surprised at people you’ll meet who will want to continue the fun with you and invite you to their homes…their Bloomingdale’s and Santa’s villages. Better yet you can meet people whose friendships can last all year long.