I am honestly not exactly certain how it happened, but without realizing it, I seem to have volunteered to decorate the museum for Christmas. Perhaps I am experiencing some sort of memory glitch, but I don't remember, at any point, my boss asking me if I would like to volunteer for that task. I also do not recall just stepping up and saying, "Hey guys, I would love to decorate this museum for you". But maybe that is precisely what happened and I've blocked it out. It doesn't sound like something I would volunteer to do, but maybe I did.
Regardless of how it happened, suddenly I had a small budget, the decorating assignment and very clear instructions to deck the lobby and gift shop of the museum with good taste and with class in a Christmas fashion. Further I was instructed that it be non-religious, non-cheesy and above all else, No Glitter!
So the weekend before last Tim and I found ourselves at Hobby Lobby with really no actual plan, the measurements I had taken of walls and windows, a small budget and fairly open instructions. Now I've been to Hobby Lobby before. There was one in the Colorado town we used to live in. And although I'm not crafty or artsy at all, it was a very fun place to wander around and occasionally buy something. Usually a gift for someone else. Every once in awhile I bought some sort of Christmas Decoration there as well but then it was a specific mission. I knew exactly what I was looking for. This time, I did not.
It was actually the No Glitter rule that was the most difficult to follow. Christmas is just a very glittery holiday to me. If there is no sparkle, it's just not Christmas. But I was determined to find a way to do a really good job for them. I did not want to disappoint, y'know?
I learned a lot from this assignment. For instance, I learned that when decorating for someone else, it's a lot more difficult that when decorating for yourself. Mostly because you know yourself pretty well. And yes, I had a few parameters from my boss, but while I like her very much, I do not know her very well. I don't know her taste, her style, her expectations, decor-wise. I felt rather unsure of what to do, what direction to move in. I think perhaps I was looking for inspiration. So I wandered the aisles up and down, picking up things and putting them back down. Considering things and returning them to the shelves, over and over. Tim would make suggestions and I would say, "perhaps" and "maybe". All I can say is that he is a VERY patient man.
Finally I took a deep breath and just picked a direction. I reasoned that even if I was making bad decisions, at least I was making decisions!
There was nothing ready made that spoke to me. Okay. Gotta start with simple plain things and jazz it up myself. Naked garland, naked wreaths, etc. We walked through the entire Christmas section one more time and with determination, and more than a little doubt, I started making actual selections of items and filled the cart. Although I wasn't convinced that I had made the best choices, at least the choices had been made. AND I came in under budget. Hurrah for that at least.
My next museum day, I entered the building loaded with bags and ladders, command strips and ribbon, scissors and wire cutters and above all, No Glitter. It was an especially quiet day with almost no guests (the day before Thanksgiving, people were otherwise occupied I'm guessing). But I was grateful for the quiet and began opening bags.
Although I was worried (will they like it? did I meet expectations?) sometimes the only way out is straight through the front door, so I got right to work. When I finally finished several hours later, I called my boss and she came right downstairs to check it out. She was surprised that I was done already but seemed pleased with my work, overall. The only thing she said at all was that she wished I had gotten lighted garland. Oh well. Maybe next year.
It was disquieting as a task, I must say. Trying to interpret someone else's vision is a terrifying load to carry. Especially when spending THEIR money! I mean if I make a decorating mistake with my money, it's one thing, but someone else's? Scary. I have even more respect than I did before (and I already had a lot) for interior designers. How do they do it?????
But I'm also pleased with myself that I took this on, did at least an okay job, and now I am excited to get started decorating OUR house for Christmas. Maybe a little later this week. If nothing else, I am a lot more certain how I feel about each and every selection I make for this house:)
Here are a few photos of how it turned out. Let me know what you think?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.