The Fall Catalogs Make Me Feel Inadequate

Home & Garden 20

Every fall, as the leaves redden and fall off the branches and pile up on my lawn, the magazines pile up in my mailbox, each whispering and begging me to open them, hoping I'll add their goodies to my Christmas list. Mostly I roll my eyes, wonder how I got on the mailing list for Geriatrics Quarterly, and throw them into the recycling bin. Occasionally, I'll catch my pack rat 8-year-old trying to stealthily make off with Cardiac Surgeon Monthly (I'm just sure he's saving his pennies to buy me a portable defibrillator!), which is always an epic battle of the wills, but usually I go unchallenged.

I would personally like to offer a sloppy kiss of thanks to whomever invented the gift card.

The only catalog that I have any interest in spending time with is my Pottery Barn Holiday Edition catalog. That one is to me what Victoria's Secret catalogs are to teenage boys: eye candy. I grab a nice tall glass of vodka and I sit down on my puke-stained couch and I fantasize.

From the clean coffee table surfaces, free of broken toys and overflowing laundry baskets, to the expertly arranged eucalyptus garland, roping around the mantel, where the stockings hang, just so. My own mantel is so outdated it could easily be featured as the “before” shot on one of those home and garden programs where people come in and make fun of your crappy taste. Instead of eucalyptus garland, I have some gaudy gold garland that my 2-year-old fell desperately in love with and it's held up not with coordinated stocking holders, but duct-tape and some nails I found in the basement.

Their Christmas tree is always expertly decorated from the lead crystal covered snowflakes, the mountain of balls, all made of the world's most shatterable glass, down to the pointy-metal reindeer, which, as I look closely, would make wonderful projectiles to be lobbed at one's sibling. My tree is surrounded by a makeshift baby gate to keep out small animals and small children who might otherwise bring it crashing down onto the floor, which isn't something I see in any of these pictures. In fact, I don't see ANY kids in those pictures. I saw one cat once, but I think it was stuffed. The tree in my house is covered with plastic balls, all gaily colored and none really my taste, but all chosen by my children who have declared it beautiful.

Another year, I know I'll come across those hideous plastic balls packed away, a vestige of times gone by, as I pull out the coveted Pottery Barn sterling silver snowflakes and the lead crystal balls and I'll cry. My children will have grown and my sofa puke-free, my coffee table clean, and my house, while maybe it will be prettier or cleaner or more chic, will feel less like a home.

So this year, I'm tossing that catalog out, along with Crystal Growers of Illinois and Fit and Fabulous Over Fifty. Bring on the ugly plastic balls. Bring on the piles of laundry and the mantel from 1976.

These are the good old days.


a mom's life, christmasdecorating, decorating, diy, entertaining, family room, holiday decorating


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Lucid... Lucidlotus

I'm the freak who never outgrew the childish wonder and glee for cheap tinsel, handmade, lopsided and downright weird ornaments and colored lights.  This was even pre-child.  It never felt like Christmas if everything matched and was chic and perfect. 

What I'm really trying to say is, where's my invite?  I'll be the one helping the two year old to scale the makeshift baby gate around the tree.

Caroline Pollock

I have a minor obsession with Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, and Hermie the elf, so they **may** take up several branches on my tree.

Ami J D Fleischaker

Thank you for this. I know growing up that our tree was definitely not the perfectly decorated w/ matching/coordinated ornaments that I saw in magazines but I LOVED it. And I do my tree just the same way, handmade ornaments and all. :)

Brittany L. Ison

My daughter and I make new ornaments every year and I let her pick everything.....I hope she never grows out of it :(

Leele... Leelee1008

They sure are! my boys are 8 & 10, and slowly but surely the home made ornaments and decorations have slowed down and the twinkle in their eyes when we light that tree and its fully decorated have faded. There are no more tiny little hand prints on the glass door, either. but Alas, I am saved, This year we have a baby in the house, a girl to be exact :)  She will be 11 months come December and there will be giggles and smiles, and telling her NO, and leave the tree alone. there will be slobber and hand prints again,and soon the home made stuff will come to life again. just for 1 more time, and then sadly it will end when she grows up, shes our last :(

ethan... ethans_momma06

I LOVE holidays. Magazines just give me inspiration for what *I* want to do- not so I have the 'perfect' image that they have.

Madel... Madelaine

I love hoilday mags

momka... momkaribg

Love holiday magazines.

ceciliam ceciliam

LOL! Aaaawwww....

To a PP above, I am also "slightly" obsessed with Rudolph! :)

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