By Claudia Jacobs
this is my weekly column written by me for the Times Herald-Record
Published: 2:00 AM - 11/28/10
Shhhh. I'm going to let you in on a secret. If I could get away with it, I would not decorate my house for the holidays. I know what you're thinking: "But, Claudia, you are a decorator!"
Here's the thing: Over the years — with live trees toppling over, gigantically tall pre-lighted trees that never fit back in the box, and me nearly falling off ladders — I lost that warm and fuzzy Christmas decoration feeling.
The "less is more" holiday decorating suits me best. Decorative holiday tablecloths and candles dress my dining table. Holly Christmas plates set the table along with my grandmother's silverware. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care. The Christmas tree has downsized.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, just less and less fuss every year. And that's OK.
It is important to keep in mind the reason for the season. Make your own traditions that reflect you and your style, traditions that best suit your family's needs. Send in your new traditions to share with other readers here in the column (but send them in quickly!).
While making my own list, I put out the word about gift suggestions. Surprisingly, it is not things that are making the following list, but experiences. Here are a few ideas that my Facebook friends sent in:
Lynn and Jackie make a very good point. Most of us have enough stuff. The last thing we need is even more stuff. Getting together with family and friends is what the holiday is all about. Try continuing that theme throughout the year by giving the gift of the shared experience. It is all about making wonderful memories. Those memories will hold a longer place in your heart than a bottle of wine or a pair of gloves.
Of course, buying and giving stuff does help the economy! So if you are shopping for the holidays, please remember to support your local merchants.
My practical personal pick: The GelPro® Chef's Mat
At a recent color consultation at a client's home, I walked over to her kitchen counter and onto her kitchen mat. Oh wow! It was so comfortable. After I uttered a few oohs and ahhs, my client Rita told me it was a gel mat. I forgot about it till I saw it in a few circulars. Let's face it, standing for a long time in the kitchen, especially extensively for the holidays, is inevitable and can lead to fatigue.
GelPro Mats were created for chefs who are on their feet all day in front of the stove or the prep table. The mat's soft polymer gel interior absorbs shock and provides relief for tired feet, legs and backs while a bacteria-killing additive eliminates mold and mildew caused by drips and slops. A nonslip bottom keeps the mat from sliding around the floor.
The GelPro is available locally at Bed, Bath & Beyond, or online at gelpro.com with even more style and color options. Kohl's has a similar gel mat.
Don't tell my mother, but she is getting one, too!
Claudia is a decorator, professional stager, and the owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Goshen. Visit www.claudiajacobsdesigns.com or call her at 845-294-8993. Send questions and photos to email@example.com.