Growing up in Minnesota as immigrants we never had any outdoor decorations to speak of. It probably had a lot to do with money and the fact that in Minnesota it was so cold outside, I doubt my father would have enjoyed doing that. But I do remember with had real wreaths on our door. So that was a decoration, for sure. I remember a few pre-Christmas weeks that my mom worked at the nursery because it was their busy time of year, what with real trees and wreaths and pine garlands and the like. I remember this well also, because once as she was doing this to have a little more money for Christmas, I came down with the dreaded chicken pox. And I remember a neighbor, Mrs. Ludeman, who stayed with me so my mom could go to this job and make sure that the tree would have something good under it for me.
I remember that some of our better to-do neighbors had outdoor decorations, and it was so beautiful to me. I think I was always a little jealous of them that they had such fun Santas and nativities, lights etc. But it's OK, I enjoyed that I could see them and enjoy them.
Getting a home of my own, I realize that outdoor decorations, 1. take lots of storage space, 2. cost a lot of electricity, 3. are some effort to set up in the cold...brrrr. 4. sometimes become victims of bad weather and 5. are sometimes victims of vandelism. Although so fun to see and so beautiful!
So, even now we only have lights around the upper perimeter of the house, with some indoor decorations shining through the front window. And of course, the fake wreath on the door. Well, as I go to costco I see the beautiful green wreaths that smell so good of pine, but then I think I would rather spend the money on something else, so I don't buy them. Maybe one year I will do it again! Just for old time's sake! We do enjoy driving to the wonderfully decorated homes around town. And there is always something wonderful to see. I really love that others are more talented in that way than we are.
I love the holidays and the beauty that is all around us.