If you are unsure then take this quick survey.
1. Do you limit the colour palette of decorations?
a) yes. Every year I colour theme Christmas
b) I do like traditional red and white but happy to have whatever is around
c) It's an all in together mish mash of colour.
2. When your small children bring home a wonkey and rather crazy decorations they have made do you...
a) Smile sweetly and when they are not looking throw it in the bin?
b) fix it up, re paint and re-make and hang on the tree?
c) give it to a grandparent.
d) Hang it proudly on the tree and keep it forever?
3.Do you let other people in your family decorate the tree?
a) only if they follow your instructions.
b) only if they are taller than you and do what they are told.
c) happy to let anyone do the decorating - it's one less job to do.
4. Do you keep decorations given to you by other people?
a) never unless they are to your taste
b) sometimes but you re-gift them
c) always, you love being reminded of that friend when you hang the decoration on the tree
5. Do you gift wrap in...
a) a matching colour theme with trimmings?
b) using double sided sticky tape?
c) a haphazard doesn't matter because it will get ripped off anyway way?
6.Your husband/partner has a penchant for gaudy outside lights and displays. Do you..
a) threaten divorce and not let him put any up
b) he can put them up but only if you choose them
c) only in the back yard
d) let him go for it. The kids love it too. You're looking forward to being the crazy Christmas house.
So. How did you go?
If you answered:
all a's - It's official. You are a Christmas style tyrant.
mostly a's and b's - you are on the way to becoming a Christmas style tyrant.
mostly c's and d's - relax! Oh you are relaxing anyway.
I know. You are asking yourself, "How does Julianne know so much about being a Christmas style tyrant?" Well...I have a confession to make. I know these things because once, almost twenty years ago, for one Christmas, I was a Christmas style tyrant.
The two children I had were too young to argue or participate with Christmas. My partner too busy. I dressed the children in home made matching dresses made from Christmas fabric. Yes! I really did! And I decorated the tree all in just brown paper decorations and gold. Really.
And you know what? It was a hollow style victory. It was boring. And empty. And the kids wrecked the dresses. And I got over myself.
Our Christmases shouldn't be a shop window display! Our Christmases are not for sale! My children are not Christmas accessories!
The other day I read a blog post from someone who was admitting openly to being a control freak about Christmas. She hadn't let her children participate in the tree decorating or hung up anything they had made. Her tree was more sterile art installation than a central focus of Christmas cheer. It made me sad.
I wondered if it was because she was a blogger and wanted to show her style in everything? (I'm still working on a post entitled "is blogging just bragging?") Or if it is a sign of the times - that somehow these days everything is posted, flaunted tweeted and on display and has therefore bleached of it's honesty and realness. Or does she just need to express herself in everything and it's all about her?
The kids and I made these salt dough decorations. We coloured them madly with sharpie textas. These are mine....
And these are what the kids made.........
Christmas is about family, the marking of time, the passing of years, growing and changing and mostly it's about togetherness. It only happens once a year. How can being controlling and exclusive in the activities be any fun?
So beware of the inner Christmas style tyrant and make sure there's some wonkiness and tackiness and reality in your Christmas and celebrate with style but mostly with love for one another.