A Picture Perfect Picture That’s Not Perfect

Why do my neighbors insist on silly things? I already struggle with admitting I’m a stay-at-home mother who drives a minivan and knows how to bake. Just when I think I’ve made some headway in my self-esteem because I set something decorative on the mantel, another woman posts her Taste of Home setup on TwoFacebook.


Not that I envy her or anything.


Mostly, I feel indignant. Indignant, I say! Hours of decorating are a waste of time and money, plus a psychological strain on the children who are not allowed to touch any of it.

Don’t believe me? In a fit of domesticity last Easter, I decided to make a holiday wreath. We were out of home-grown grapevines and lacked the time to paint them with off-white chalk paint, so I purchased a pre-made wreath. I also lacked the materials or time to cast my own swirled pastel eggs in resin, so bought those while we were there. And, yes -I picked up some ribbon (silk worms are notoriously difficult to breed).

Okay, okay. I got a glue gun, too. Sheesh. I used their coupon!

Anyway -two hours later, I had my Easter wreath. From a distance, you couldn’t even see the dripping entrails of hot glue or a few bits of burned skin I’d also adhered. For my efforts, I figured I spent about $30.


…which is why my other door decorations have come from Goodwill or Wal-mart.

Actually, the autumn one was half-off at a boutique. There’s no way the person who made it ended up making a profit. She should’ve saved her hot glue and fingers and taken a leaf from my book.

I was thinking about my practicality versus my neighbors’ insanity yesterday. I had just offered tickets to a highly sought-after event, to which a friend answered she could not attend. She really wanted to, but they were decorating for the ward Christmas party that night.

Why couldn’t she turn her fellow decorators down? Why couldn’t they do it the morning of the event?

Why not skip trying to change a church meetinghouse gymnasium into Dicken’s Christmas village* entirely?


This is probably why I’m not on the decorating committee.

And, did you remember I mentioned psychological strain on children? What good are mantels, wreaths, and Dickens when all the children want is somewhere to sit? They certainly can’t do that on a pure white couch, accented by mirrored surfaces and offset by homespun metals and woods.

Joanna Gaines

Swiped from The Master.

Maybe I’m coming from a house of boys, where we can’t even keep pillows on the couch or Nerf bullets from ‘accent’ing all the surfaces. Or maybe, as I like to think, I’m the sane one in the neighborhood.


*For the curious, they are actually intending to do this.


Photo Credit:
Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels
and Chelsea Owens
and Joanna Gaines’ Instagram

©2019 Chelsea Owens

19 thoughts on “A Picture Perfect Picture That’s Not Perfect

  1. I’m with you on this. While I enjoy Christmas decorations – put up by other people, mind you – I’m not wild about the decorating and undecorating and all that goes with it. One year my roommate was gone and her family took pity on me, sneaking into my apartment while I was at work and settting up a tree. I figure they put it where they did as the easiest spot, and thinking I’d move it where I wanted it. That was too much trouble so I decided it was fine where it was. Then I knew how much work it would be digging out the lights and decorations, so I decided the tree would look wonderful au naturel. (Fortunately?) I happened to be given a few Christmas ornaments as gifts at work, so that was the sum total of my decor. Besides, that tree is the stuff of legend and I barely lifted a finger! With a new baby in the house, drive around and enjoy everyone else’s decorations and be done with it.

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  2. I think you hit the nail on the head ” coming from a household of boys”. They would rather treat the wreath like a lasso and try to rope their brothers. I like your home made Easter wreath the best. Trust things are going well for you. Tough time of year with a brand new baby and getting ready for Christmas.

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  3. There, there, My Christmas tree makes Charlie Browns tree look good.

    But on the bright side, I have more money for food because I don’t waste it on decor. I bet those super moms don’t have good holiday food. They probably eat kale for Christmas. Those Pinterest Moms even have a thigh gaps, I bet. Blah. Preteen wannabes!

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  4. You are the sane one. I watched my daughter in law and son with my grandsons. They have a small tree with indestructible ornaments and flashing lights. They let the kids play with the remote (the lights flashed and rotated on the ceiling.) they also got to handle the ornaments in wonder. They also decorated it. I was in awe. Such restraint of self to allow children to enjoy and learn. 🤦‍♀️🎅🤦‍♀️

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  5. I am of two minds about your post. I love your way of thinking – break free of the shackles of ridiculous decor expectations! But I really, really love decorating and crafting at Christmas. And baking and cooking and gifting….so I try to decorate with input and help from my kids. I also do what I can for free with greens from my yard and by reusing ancient ornaments year after year that are actually gaining their own real patina. But I had to laugh at the Nerf bullet comment, for I did indeed just ask my little guy to unstick some Nerf bullets that had been on the glass of a picture on the wall for weeks. So there you go. And how are you and the newest member of your family??

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    1. My husband is also an advocate for nice things. 🙂 I’m in favor of what’s nice but reasonable. Your setup sounds lovely.

      Our littlest boy is doing quite well, as am I. Thank you for asking, and for reading my post even though I’m on a bit of a sabbatical.

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