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Still Matters - Decorations Are Part Of The Experience
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Another year is coming close to an end. Every year seems to go by faster and faster. I have heard after a certain age everything starts rolling downhill. I don’t believe that is entirely true, but I do believe the speed has increased each year.

Fall is such a nice time of year with the days getting cooler, trees changing colors, and leaves falling. Although the days do get shorter with the time change so sometimes you end up going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, never to see sunlight on any given day.

The holidays and the warmth it brings starts in October for me. I start decorating for Halloween as soon as I can make the time for it. Don’t judge me, it’s not my fault. This is the way my mother raised me. She was always decorating for the holidays and birthday parties were a must. I remember growing up having some of the best birthday parties filled with friends, family, fabulous decorations, games and a nice big birthday cake with candles to make a once a year birthday wish.

I took this tradition my mother impressed on me and moved it into my own home with my own family. Just ask my husband, Brian. Even if no one notices the little pumpkin figurine in the corner, I know it’s there adding a little bit of special to that little corner that was so boring. I don’t even mind if no one says anything to me about my room filled with color and festivity during this time of year. The decorations bring a party atmosphere into the home that sets the stage for good vibes through the sometimes stressful holiday season.

However, I must say my husband has come around after all these years and he does find his smile sooner rather than later. He has also come up with some really good, new decorative ideas for our home.

Digging the boxes out of the attic and getting everyone involved with good spirits can sometimes be a challenge but after it is all said and done the beauty and the good times prevail.

After the Halloween decorations come down, it is time to set the house up for fall. We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year at our house so it is time to prepare the house for company and good tidings.

I kept all the pumpkins from our Halloween display (not the carved ones) so they encompass my entryway. Yes, I still carve pumpkins … doesn’t everyone?

This year my stepdaughter wants to do a craft with leaves that she saw on Pinterest. The crafty ideas that come from that website are phenomenal; however, I am just not the crafty type. So we will see if we can make the leaf craft happen for this year’s dinner. It is a really cute idea and I have just the spot for them.

I do a full table setting for Thanksgiving with the special dishes that are not seen throughout the year. The fancy table cloth and all the little details will make the table special for all the loved ones that will be sitting at it. I look forward to all the delicious smells that will encompass the decorated rooms of my home and the laughter that will be shared throughout.

I may be the only one that really enjoys all the decorations, the details, and the work that is put into it, but I do enjoy seeing the smiling faces that come through the door. Also, the energy seems to be upbeat and fun fills the air. Plus, the occasional “I love the décor” and “where did you get that?” helps keep me going for the next holiday.

This year I have orange rope lights that go down the staircase and they put a really nice glow in the entryway when the sun goes down.

I try to pick up most of my decorations from unique places and when I can catch a good sale after the holiday. After all these years I have collected some really nice items.

The bottom line is the decorations bring me joy and many memories are made that I will never forget. For example, the hay bales that Brian set up in the front yard for the first time and the trip we took to SaveMart for the nine pumpkins that were handpicked and placed on them. The pumpkin carving party that we had at the neighbor’s house was a treat. The spider and web that my stepson puts out every year on the pillar looks so good. Or the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree that we would go on every year and make a full day trip out of it. The Thanksgiving dinners that we have shared with family and friends have filled the memory banks over the years. Each year has been filled with new adventures and as the kids have gotten older, and loved ones have passed away, the memories are just that much more precious.

I truly look forward to the holidays throughout the year and plan to keep the fun and festivities going on for many more years to come.

The decorations are just a small part of what the holidays mean to me, but they still matter to me.


Virginia Still is a reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.