A Very Kitschy Christmas

Urban Cholita: ChristmasThe design blogosphere has been seized by Christmas spirit. Bloggers are hanging their hand-knit merino stockings by their painted brick chimneys with ever so much care (in the hopes that Todd Oldham soon will be there?).

I like Christmas too. But when Christmas decor succumbs to design trends, I want to vomit — just a little bit. Pink Christmas trees? Ombre decorations? Random bowls of matching ornaments? Not my style.

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of my favorite childhood memories. Unwrapping all the old ornaments after their year-long exile in the closet was like a having family reunion (the good kind with no drunk uncles and no fistfights). I picked out a special place for my favorites, pointy orbs with worn glitter and geometric designs. My mom didn’t worry about me breaking anything. She didn’t instruct me on a color scheme. And she didn’t cringe when I applied the tinsel with a very heavy hand.

Christmas shouldn’t be all matchy matchy. And in my house it can’t be. The ornaments have been collected over the course of many years. Most were gifts. Many are really weird. Case in point: Here’s Santa riding a frog. And below that, Santa re-imagined as a cupcake.



We don’t own a tree topper, so I improvised. DSC_0036That’s another bizarro Santa ornament. This time he’s wearing angel wings and holding a bouquet of miniature Christmas trees — incontrovertible proof that ornament designers do drugs, lots of them.

There’s a Santa theme happening here, but in real life my ornaments don’t really match. If I wanted to make my tree, say, silver, I’d have to go to Target and buy a boatload of silver ornaments. And then, after Christmas, I’d have to find a place in this tiny apartment to squirrel them away. Where is the goddamn joy in that?

So this Christmas, let’s all relax. Put up some decorations from your childhood. Even if they clash. Embrace the kitsch.


Filed under design

4 responses to “A Very Kitschy Christmas

  1. Gerry Wheeler

    Gee, no star?

  2. No star, sadly. I used to have one with gold tinsel and colored lights, but it got lost in one of my many, many moves.

  3. Janey

    I love this! I wanted a “perfect” tree, until kids came into the picture (first my stepson and then his little brother). They want to decorate the tree and since I know I’ll have many, many years without them when they have homes of their own, we let them. So now our tree looks like it was decorated by a wild-eyed colorblind designer with a deep love of trains (true, except they’re not colorblind, just color-oblivious). When I’m 60 we can have the color-matched department-store-style one, if I still want it.

    We do have a tree topper, inherited from my aunt, but before that arrived we used a huge star homemade out of cardboard and tinfoil. 🙂

  4. Janey, thanks for the comment. I remember making a cardboard star when I was little. I had just learned that two triangles make a star. So I cut two cardboard triangles, glued them together, covered them with tinfoil, and put the star on my Grandma’s fake tree. I’m not sure she realized that I topped her tree with a Star of David.

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