Remember Coco Chanel’s Advice & Do Not Overdress Your Christmas Tree

“Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.”

~ Coco Chanel

<a rant>

People, you are putting too many ornaments on your Christmas trees.  And it is time for you to stop this nonsense.

A Christmas tree decorated to excess is not pretty.  And I find that it creates one of those awkward social encounters when I realize that I must use a bit of Southern charm to smooth over the situation:

“Why bless your little heart, your tree is tres ya-ya no.”

It is too much.

Have you actually looked at your tree?  Hmm?  Probably not because you cannot see your tree with all that stuff hanging all over it.

This kind of decorating is tacky.  And I don’t care if you saw the same thing at some Victorian home holiday open house OR in an upscale home decor catalog OR at a turn-of-the-century industrialist’s mansion decorated for Christmas.

It is too much.

Perhaps you do not understand the concept of negative space as applied to interior design?

Or maybe you think it is a status thing to cover every square centimeter of your Christmas tree with ornaments and lights and bows and tinsel?

Or then again, like this ridiculous woman would have us believe, maybe you think that commercialism is the basis of Christmas so you want to spend, spend, spend on ornaments?

Truly, I do not understand your motivations.  But to those of you who insist on having your Christmas tree overdressed to the point where the needles on the tree branches are no longer visible, I feel comfortable telling you that:

“Honey, you’re doing it wrong.  Listen to Coco.”

It is too much.

</a rant>

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

24 thoughts on “Remember Coco Chanel’s Advice & Do Not Overdress Your Christmas Tree”

  1. Ha, ha! You should see ours! I let the little man decorate it this year in exchange for good behaviour (worked a treat) but he’s invented the concept of a nest for the baubles which is a few branches grouped together with the baubles placed within as if it were a nest. It’s difficult if it gets brushed and the baubles fall out, but as he’s agreed that he’s responsible for picking them up and putting them back again, why would I argue?! 🙂 We have so many baubles that the rest of the tree is nicely covered (smotherered). So far the cats have ignored them. I hope that continues; my friends’ new dog has chewed theirs to pieces already!

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    1. Polly, a bauble nest sounds like a concept that Martha Stewart would promote. How clever of your son to make one.

      As for your cats NOT bothering the tree, I am in awe. When we had them, one of ours would systematically knock off all ornaments starting at the bottom of the tree and working upward. It was a mess– and he could not be stopped. You’ve got yourself some good cats there!

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      1. Just realised I wrote smotherered instead of smothered. My only defence is I was rushing out to see the Nativity play. Ooops! :-[ Would love to have seen your cats in action, that’s really quite funny!

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        1. Polly, I didn’t even see the typo! I’m slipping [used to do proofreading for lawyers]. But after the wacky day that I’ve had a little spelling mistake is charming. How was the play?

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          1. It was beautiful, all the children were such little stars. They were all aged 4-7 so little and cute. My little man was a shepherd and looked brilliant. Usually spelling mistakes and grammar howlers just announce themselves to me, I don’t even have to go looking for them. But that one passed me by. :-[

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    2. I’m amazed by your cats’ restraint as well. Stasia used to pick an ornament and that was the only one she messed with. Previous cats enjoyed pulling them all off. Not sure what the kids will do this year if I ever get it up.

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  2. Finally made it back here late this afternoon to check on my blog. Where are all the comments I expected to find on this post? Do not tell me that you, my gentle readers, like that overdone tree thing. If that is so, then it is almost as if I don’t know any of you at all! 😉

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    1. Making broad, sweeping statements about style is dangerous. I, personally, always hate the designer trees with everything matching and perfectly balanced. What if that is the kind of tree you like? What if your tree is filled with gold bows and gold balls and gold snowflakes?

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      1. Zazzy, I am thrilled to think that I did something dangerous on my blog! I’d say what I wrote was telling the truth– same thing as dangerous, I suppose.

        I love it when people decorate their trees with a theme. My complaint isn’t with the style you choose, it is with the quantity of stuff you put on your tree. If the branches of the tree are not visible, it is too much.

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  3. I stopped putting every ornament on our tree several years ago when all of the kids were not living at home any more. We even had a skinny artificial tree the last two years. But this year we bought a 6′ live tree. I only put vintage baubles and handmade victorian ornaments on along with my scherenschnitte garland, and a string of blue lights along with the traditional white lights. It’s simple, but pretty:)

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    1. Beth, your tree sounds perfect: love the Victorian theme + scherenschnitte. I like the idea of blue + white lights. In fact, neighbors down the street do that on their outdoor bushes and it looks stunning. Where in the world did you put a 6′ tree in your house?!!

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  4. I’ve been at work, so that’s my excuse. I don’t think we overdressed our tree; we use mostly special keepsake ornaments or the ones the girls made. They used to be so embarrassed that I would put their grade school efforts on the tree, but they are way more important and special to me than a plain ball.(not even sure I have any of those) I also like straw ornaments and have some unusual ones that students or friends have made. Shall we just say that our tree was always eclectic? Perhaps quirky? 😉

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    1. Margaret, eclectic is always good in my book. Especially when all the ornaments mean something to you. We have a few unique ones that my mother gave us when we were first married. To this day my favorite one is a miniature Sprite can wrapped in tiny lights with a teddy bear in a Santa hat on top of the can. Now that’s quirky, no?

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  5. So funny, Ally Bean! I did not overdress my tree this year. In fact we DO NOT EVEN HAVE A TREE! We’re going down south–somewhere where snow doesn’t usually fall–to visit relatives–and now celebrate with an underdressed ceramic tree made by one of the Grandmas a few years ago. What are you doing for Christmas?

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    1. Kathy, glad to know that you’re not doing anything excessive regarding your Christmas tree. Coco and Jesus would be proud of you for keeping things simple. Enjoy your time with your family. The south sounds lovely to me right about now.

      As for us, we’ll be here at home. Hanging out together. Probably still eating cream cheese and digging out of from under more snow. Fa-la-la-la-lah, la-la-la-la!

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