Full Disclosure: Slow Your Roll

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An original Susan Gelvin solution to Holiday Decor Whiplash.

Why do I feel like I am already behind schedule for the holidays? It could be because I caught Post Office elves decking the halls weeks ago with winter displays. Or that stores had replaced Halloween candy with Christmas confections a week before Trick-or-Treaters set foot out the door. Perhaps running into my friend who was finishing her holiday gift shopping at The Whitney Shop sent me into a tailspin. No wonder why I feel holi-cray. Can’t we just slow down a second and carpe this diem?


It’s only the wee days of November and I feel intense pressure to transform my home from a kooky Halloween kid-friendly fright-fest to a serene autumnal wonderland. I do not know how my friends and neighbors do it: Weeks in advance, up go their elaborate Halloween scenescapes, and then, overnight on Nov. 1, little fairies come along and transition to a Martha Stewart-approved Thanksgiving-Harvest spectacle.

I am in awe of the bales of hay, skeletons, clowns and scarecrows that adorn the entryways of New Canaan. But I have to wonder; what does this all cost? Who does all of this manual labor and where do people store their massive cache of seasonal props? I am a connoisseur of clutter and operator of an overflowing storage facility that runs out of our basement. Is this why people have those quaint barns—for seasonal inventory? I need a barn.

In the meantime, I will settle for a dank corner in the cellar to stash my cheesy Halloween wreath and fthe aux-pumpkin totem poles that I bought out of desperation at CVS.

A few years ago, I upped my game. Smugly, I purchased beautiful, huge (even perky) mums, giant pumpkins and warty-looking gourds. Within a very unreasonable amount of time, everything started to shrivel up and turn to mold. The scenery went from vibrant and Pinterest-worthy to Halloween House of Horrors faster than I can eat a fun-sized Snickers. Expensive lesson learned: I’ll stick with the plastic holiday junk that I bought along with antacid and Drain-o.

In December, I express my Christmas glee with white outdoor lights. Apparently, a single strand of white lights framing the front door does not have the same timeless elegance and appeal as a simple strand of pearls. Why do I know this? One stressful year, a friend called me out on my super-lame attempt to employ one orphan string of lights around my threshold.

All holidays are tough. There is pressure to shine and to make everything perfect. My own efforts to transform my little world into a holiday fantasyland will always fall short—and I have convinced myself that that’s OK. I’ll leave perfection to those who have yet to be medicated into submission.


I am sure my Type A+ friends in New Canaan are already planning Easter tablescapes and smoking their own hams. So many New Canaanites have mastered the art of getting ahead of the holiday game. I am just trying to cut corners, enjoy the moment and figure out how to slow everyone down, so that I can catch up.

4 thoughts on “Full Disclosure: Slow Your Roll

  1. Suzie, bravo on yet another wonderful column which hits so close to home! We can all relate! I always look forward to your honest and hilarious columns.

  2. Bravo, well said. What ever happened to Christmas decorations, after Thanksgiving? Oh wait, that was 25 years ago. Great article.

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