Disposable Holidays

My mom made this Minnie dress for me. I wore it until it was in tatters.

My mom made this Minnie Mouse dress for me. I wore it until it was in tatters.

Holidays: I love them. LOVE them. I love Halloween…dressing up and getting to be a different archetype or part of my personality is SO MUCH FUN! As a kid my parents were conservative fundamentalist Christians, but they still allowed us to participate in Halloween activities providing that we didn’t dress up as anything “evil.” There were several years I went as a princess or a fairy or once as a very non PC Indian (from India) girl (though I rationalize it now as an adult because our neighbors were from India and gave me the salwar kameez set and I’ve lived in India and freaking love and respect the culture so much that I really think I was Indian in a former life. At any rate, not very PC, I know). One year I was a mime with my best friend and another year (um, possibly senior year of HS) I was a mermaid. I wore scuba flippers covered in sequins. It was rad.

Today is Halloween. And then there will be Thanksgiving (which is like Christmas without the drama of presents) and then my birthday/Potamus birthday/our anniversary/Christmas/New Years. It’s like this totally magical season upon us and I will love it hardcore. But I find myself in this strange dilemma…decorating our house.

If I go with the Halloween theme it’s over quite quickly and on to Thanksgiving. Do I go with a Fall theme that then drags on from October all the way through November? (seems too long?) and then Christmas is right around the corner…it’s exhausting. Also, I don’t like junk. I really love it when people decorate (especially for Christmas), but the act of breaking out all the Christmas decorations as a kid and putting them all over the house was exhausting. And then there was putting them away, which was a letdown and boring and overall more of a chore (also, sad to see a holiday end, ya know?).

Now, as an adult, with my own home, I’ve run into an entirely new dilemma: storing holiday junk. Our non-functioning garage has turned into a pile of boxes of plenty other remnants of our former life (books from when Boof was a pastor, notebooks from when I was in grad school, clothes from when Potamus was a newborn…you get the idea). What has prevented me from decking my house for any holiday is the overwhelming feeling that everything turns into junk the day after the holiday. I mean, I’ve had the advent gingerbread house and snowman cookie jar sitting around on my counter since last Christmas when my biological family gave it to me. But it’s felt like clutter since last Christmas.

Last year I went to the dollar store and got some window clings that looked like blood and a ghostly face. It was fun. And I threw it all away the day after Halloween because I couldn’t bear to pack it around for a full year. But I feel guilty for that waste…not only wasting money, but also throwing that stuff into the garbage. It wasn’t donation worthy, though, and so I didn’t feel like I had many options. This year I feel the same way…I got a few inflatable Halloween decorations that could be stored easily or donated, but it’s not nearly the decorating theme I’d normally gravitate toward and seems like I’m caught in this weird place…and it’s only Halloween. Now that Potamus is getting older shouldn’t I want to do the Christmas tree and ornaments and garlands like I loved growing up? But the thought of all the money I’d spend on buying that and then having to store it or give it away…I dunno, I just feel…torn by it all.

So tell me…how do you handle decorating for holidays? Do you invest in things you’ll pack away for the year? Do you buy new stuff each year? Do you keep your house bare and only decorate inside your heart? Tell me!