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Decorate from the Soul

There’s no denying the holiday season is here.  The stores displays of red, green, and gold mixed with turquoise, silver, and purple harken to the past while cohabitating with the present. Christmas music greets your ears , or assaults depending on your perspective.  Some songs make me cringe while others transport me back to a special memory locked in the grey folds of neural pathways in my brain like the hanging ornaments nestled in folds of yellow aging paper.

Decorate from the soul is about how you signify participation in the season – or not.

Yesterday I broke open new packages of really big bulb lights for the path to my door, strung with lights and hung a garland, used two extensions cords, one timer stake, and made one trip to Home Depot.  I also attached about a gazillion roof clips to the 3 strings of gold lights which have yet to make it to the roof.  Ladder safety told me to wait until my butt thawed from sitting on the stairs for an hour preparing the lights.

Why am I telling you this?  Because it’s indicative of how my soul is feeling.  Decorating comes from a creative impulse just like writing does.  Both activities begin with inspiration = in-spirit-action.  When my sister died in 1985 my father never put up outdoor lights again, a yearly reminder of how his joy died with her.  After my mom died in 2007 I didn’t decorate. For the first time, I understood his reaction.  I doubt he ever realized the impact of his actions on his three living children; I missed seeing the front of our house lit, and our neighbors did too.

Now in 2012, this is the first year I’ve opened the decorations I bought in 2006.  I felt excitement as I  inserted the bulbs into the fixture, clipping the tab into the slots of the plastic covers, then swearing when one fell apart. I struggled to fix it and succeeded.  Figuring out the cords, timer, and placement created anticipation for how the display would look once night arrived.

Path lights from HD decorate my yard

My inspiration is the lights my grandfather and father used.

Decorating says to the world that the soul rejoices in being alive. Decoration adds festivity to any party. Last night when I drove up the street my house joined the neighbors in color, brightness, and cheer, welcoming home.

  • What do you think of when you see holiday displays?
  • How did your family participate or not?  What beliefs guide decorating in your home or culture?
  • Does the biggest display on the street generate your admiration or admonition against gaudiness?
  • Have there been times when the lights have gone out in your soul, leaving you in darkness and disconnection from others?
  • Does joining in family or friend celebrations allow you to feel more or less connected?
  • Do you look to the past for familiar décor or is the latest trend of Martha Stewart bling what thrills you?  Are natural materials your choice vs. manufactured goods?  Making paper chains with my mom and siblings filled hours with love and laughter before filling the tree branches.
  • Are you not in your own home or apartment at this time, and if so why?  My prayers go out to those displaced survivors of natural disasters, unemployment, or other causes. Super storm Sandy wreaked havoc for sure.
  • Do you decorate your life from inspiration for yourself or for others?  Is one more noble than another?

Decorate from the soul and joy will follow.

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feel free to decorate from your soul.

Set the timer for 15 minutes to write – Go!