The Kitschiest Time of the Year
Irwin Weiner ASID -- Whenever I visit a family member in a nursing home that specializes in head injuries, I always notice the sign posted near the staircase It announces the day. Most amusing, of course, is when the sign says "Today is Thursday," but it’s really Sunday.
No one there seems to mind.
Most Christmas and winter holiday decorating reminds me of that: too much, too obvious, and too many people not really noticing.
Indelibly etched in my mind is the image of a woman I saw a few years ago in the Mall of America in Minneapolis. She had a Christmas tree on her sweater, matching tree earrings, and everything else she was wearing was either red, green, or winter-white.
Unless I’m brain damaged or in total denial, I can’t help noticing that it’s Christmas! I think it’s time to rethink the holiday decorating thing.
Here are some holiday design points I would like you to consider (without sounding too much like Scrooge).
1. Show restraint. Too much decorating is like too much jewelry. Try only one piece per room.
2. Don't colonize every square inch of space. If you’re obliged to display many items, like ornaments that have sentimental value, consolidate them ALL in one place, like on and around a tree.
3. Select items that are special and different. Cute is absolutely forbidden. The little Santa teddy bear is done to death!
4. Do NOT get sucked into the Hallmark holiday thing. This year’s bigger, better, more stylish, more creative angel tree topper doesn’t really make much difference, at the end of the day. My apologies to all you collectors, of course, but mass-produced collectibles is not my thing.
5. BE BOLD. Your tree should scrape the ceiling and the wreath on your door should be as wide as the door.
6. Have fun. I remember having Christmas dinner in a trendy restaurant in New York many years ago. The restaurant’s Christmas tree was fully trimmed and, like a chandelier, it was suspended over the diners . . . upside down.
7. Time for a color change. No more red and green. (Where does that scheme come from, anyway?) I think holiday color changing is catching on because I saw blue poinsettias at a nursery today. An orange and purple tree, for example, would be great.
When decking the halls this holiday season, try a little restraint and good taste when you try turning ho-hum into ho-ho-ho.
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