Thursday, November 29, 2012

THE REAL ART OF FAKING IT


Some say I need a Christmas Intervention (our home is bursting at the seams with trees), but I tell them to relax and just let me enjoy this magical season.  Since moving to New York from sunny Southern California four years ago, I am always amazed when our surroundings change drastically in the fall to prepare for the long, cold winter haul.  It was always a rather unusual experience for me to decorate a Christmas tree with icicles and snowmen while "let it snow" blared in the background as the 80 degree sun glared outside.  Today, I love turning my head away from my snow-draped tree indoors to see the cold, crisp outdoor landscape of the Hudson Valley that I once adored by glancing through the pages of magazines like Martha Stewart Living.  It has been an incredible experience to see those pages I adored for so many years come to life right before my eyes.  Take, for example, the bottom photo from a Martha Stewart Living magazine I have saved from December, 2000.  I often flip back to this picture for inspiration and to jumpstart my holiday mood.  This photo shoot, as I would learn after moving here, took place just two miles from where I sit today.  I also learned that the tree featured was fake, the kids didn't live in the fabulous house they're playing in and the star-shaped lights were never actually lit.  Oh well.  I still love looking at it and the fantastical journeys it takes me on time and time again.  Speaking of fake, I resisted for years buying an artificial tree because I love the smell of pine and despise pine-scented candles.  But, I eventually gave in and just like my affair with New York state, fell in love right away.  Fake, pre-lit trees, after all, are incredibly gorgeous when decorated (the top photo is an artificial tree starving for ornaments).  I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again, the best way to get that pine scent is, well, PINE.  I head over to the Home Depot and buy fresh garland and two or three fresh wreaths ($9.95/each).  Plop those randomly around the house for a pop of fresh Christmas tree scent!  Even though I love faking it, the real stuff is hard to beat!