Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On Perfection and Entertaining

We moved into our apartment nearly six months ago now and, while we love our cozy home and neighborhood, we have too many blank walls for it to feel completely right.  The problem isn't vision - we both have strong aesthetic points of view - but outright exhaustion and a bit of laziness too. We tackled unpacking, framing photographs (of us and general world travels), buying and framing a few prints, and buying a few better-than-Ikea furniture items from Craigslist.  And then, we stalled out.  Life took over and trying to deal with long-hour jobs, health issues, cooking healthy meals, meeting up with friends, writing music, writing this blog, and maintaining some semblance of balance have meant that home decor fell by the wayside.

The bedroom's bare walls chide me each time I step in, but I don't quite have the heart to tackle any big aesthetic negotiations now, since I'm secretly looking forward to hanging our Ketubah here after our wedding. We have big plans for our office and bedroom windows but, for some reason, I never feel inspired to start sewing curtains at 9pm at night (when I finally have some downtime.) And I have a list of thrift shops I keep meaning to visit so I can gather a collection of interesting glass containers, mirror frames, and eclectic wallscape items for my half of the office, but again, weekend time is a precious commodity. 

It would seem that our house is not ready for a large holiday party.  Oh well.  I refuse to wait for my house to be company-ready before allowing myself to partake in the joys of company.  I'm sure our hospitality and grace will overcome any home decor deficiencies this weekend, when sixty of our closest friends join us for a housewarming/holiday/engagement party.  I'll wish we could pull together a classy winter white sparkle theme, but I'll be content to pull out our box of delightfully tacky dreidel decorations (blow-up dreidels, hanging-from-the-cieling dreidels, and actual spinning dreidels) , light-up Santa faces, Happy Hannukah garlands, and tinsel. 

I had grand plans for the apartment and for this party that will both remain incomplete before Saturday night.  My curtains will remain unfinished, my winter wonderland tablescape will probably not happen, and I have a feeling we'll end up hiding some of our mess in a closet or two. And still, I wouldn't put off this party for the world.  It's an annual treat, a chance to see our friends before everyone is overscheduled with office parties, family and vacations.  So what if our house isn't perfect?  Our friends are coming for the homemade latkes, lemon-mint cocktails, booze-and-gelt-filled pinata, and company (hopefully not in that order) and the details of our cheesy holiday decorations and limited everyday decor don't really matter.

Perhaps the next time I fret over wedding decor and impossible (for my lazy bum) craft timelines, it would do me well to think about tinsel and love instead.  I have a feeling a lot of our wedding decor projects may go unfinished, but I also get the feeling no one will care.  As with our upcoming holiday party, we could fill our wedding with tinsel, lemonade and love, and all would still be right in the world.

13 comments:

  1. Sounds perfect to me. I'd come for the booze-and-gelt-filled pinata alone.

    Don't feel bad. We moved a month ago and still have a room full of boxes to unpack. I have a feeling they might be there until after Christmas, too. Things happen. Nesting doesn't always need to be a top priority.

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  2. so fun! wedding and decor blogs make us think we NEED to make our parties and homes extra special perfect and decorated, when all that really matters is good food, drink, and friends (and music). People will remember the good times they had, not exactly what your table looked like. I usually opt out of special party decor due to frugality. We are breaking our tradition of an annual holiday party this year...maybe I'll be able to throw one in the dead of winter instead when people really need the cheer.

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  3. I love this post. My whole family came for the holidays and while their visit did motivate me to hang a few pictures (already framed and LEANING against the wall in their respective places for the last 6 months, that's lazy for you!) it also motivated me to shove the last of our unpacked boxes back in the closet! No one is gonna care and no one is gonna care if fillintheblank wedding project doesn't get done either. I say do what's fun and stop when it's not fun anymore! And those decorations sound awesome too!

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  4. Ahhh homemade latkes! I'll bring some lemon cheesecake if I could have some!

    Yeah our place is a bare studio but we don't mind having people over now and then because it's all about food and fun!

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  5. Exactly!!! There's so much emphasis now on having the perfectly decorated home (and the perfectly whatever wedding!) Our friends don't really care!! Food, booze and company.

    Oooh...you've got me all inspired to have a post Christmas party! My problem is I get obsessed about the food! I spent half of the Christmas party we had in the kitchen!

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  6. @nina - we're solving the in-the-kitchen problem by making the latkes ahead of time and reheating them the night of. J's grandparents have been doing this for years, and no one ever knows they weren't freshly fried. Frankly, we plan all our party food options around taste and convenience. It's totally doable. (and now, I'm off to brainstorm about convenient and tasty party food options...)

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  7. I agree! Get together and have a blast! For the longest time we didn't even have a dining table, but still had friends over for dinner pretty often.

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  8. So with you on this! We've still got boxes from our move and our wedding, but they'll just be shoved into a closet so we can have a holiday party. Maybe they'll get unpacked in January.

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  9. Definitely! I've always felt that if you have friends that will be put off by an unfinished/slightly messy house, then it's time to get new friends.

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  10. This is us and our house, except we seem to failed to address the blank wall problem for oh... going on two and a half years now.

    But that sentiment is so true, in the home AND in the wedding. Fail to complete that cute DIY favor project, or assemble the most creative, aesthetically pleasing centerpieces? Who the eff cares when you've got joy and love surrounding you?

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  11. Good friends never care how "perfect" your place looks — as long as they have fun. They are there to celebrate with you and not judge. If you are really concerned things don't look festive enough, throw some ornaments in a clear bowl and call it a day!

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  12. Reading your post did me some good. My husband and I moved into our place over a year ago, and even though we knew we wouldn't be staying in DC forever, we had big plans! Of course, those fell by the wayside after we got furniture. It is so great to be reminded that friends and family are not going to care that the prints and my sister's art is STILL leaning against the walls on the mantle and bookcases....

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  13. Can't wait to stop renting and bang holes all over the place!

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