I've written many times about being very Who-like, Elf-like, and altogether festive and jolly during the Christmas season. I love the decorations. I love seeing what everyone else has done. It makes me feel happy and peaceful.
But, I'm usually tasteful about it. I love my mantle and garlands strung with pretty white lights. I like the candles in the windows. I like the nativity scenes and vintage Santas and cinnamon scented candles.
My children have inherited my love for festive decor (or, more likely, all kids are just wired this way), but they seem to have missed the tasteful gene. They love inflatables. They love big, gaudy decorations. They want me to deck out the car with antlers and a nose. They aren't interested in the "less is more" style of twinkly magic. Their gingerbread houses scream "MORE is more", with no hint of cookie left under the piles of icing and candies and they would love nothing more for the rest of the house to follow suit.
This is not something I can get behind, but I don't want to squash their spirit either.
So how do we balance this?
We give them an outlet for their decorating pleasures. They each have a small, artificial tree in their bedroom. These trees are all theirs to decorate. Colored lights, surplus of tinsel, overloaded with hot pink and purple ornaments, and no judgment.
Gingerbread houses? Have at it. Icing, candies, more, more, more, until they run out of supplies. I don't mind, and I still display them...just maybe not front and center.
Our yard may not have inflatables, but on the other side of our yard, from the icy white lights of the house, is a colorful gingerbread house, created with our shed as the canvas and the girls imaginations as the inspirations. Light up candy canes and lollipops have a great place there. And we have several neighbors who have fully embraced the inflatable fun, and we drive by those houses often.
And among my heirloom decorations inside are four sets that are meant to be played with. A Little People nativity, a Peanuts nativity, a Little People Santa's Village and a set of figures from Mickey's Christmas Carol are meant to be played with, as are the Hallmark singing snowmen.
And I'm not willing to light up the car, or add antlers, but I did concede to window clings for the backseat windows.
Balance and understanding each other lets us deck everything and find a tasteful, and fun, way to be merry!