It all started when I decided to attend the Historic Boulder Homes for the Holidays Tour. Up until then, my required holiday decorations consisted of one fresh poinsettia and one Christmas tree. Little did I know that purchasing a ticket in 1994 to support Historic Boulder would ruin my life forever.
The tour included several homes located on “The Hill” in Boulder. As I trudged up the snowy path to a gingerbread-like house, I noticed a pretty black-haired lady walk up beside me. Being fairly outgoing, I said, “I love this wreath!”
“Why, thank you very much,” she said, then flashed me a broad smile. I realized this must be the owner. As I entered, my breath was taken away by the all the fresh magnolia and pine swags above picture frames and mirrors with a large one draped over the stairway. Others graced long buffets and table tops. The scent of fresh flowers mixed with evergreens raised my spirits, but unbeknownst to me, this would be the first enticement in turning me toward the dark side. “This is the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen. I only wish my mother was here in time for the tour. She would really enjoy this,” I said with tears in my eyes.
“Bring her over when she comes to town,” she replied. “I’m Patsy Ramsey, by the way.”
I introduced myself to this gracious lady knowing that I would never have the nerve to knock on her door again. I continued along with her for a while as I felt myself shifting into an altered state. Fabulous antiques graced each room. She informed me that many of the pieces came from estates in the south. I lost her as we entered the kitchen.
The sprawling house covered 3 floors culminating in a fabulous master suite in the newly remodeled attic space. Two curio cabinets flanked the entry. Neither the one filled to the brim with all of Patsy’s crowns and sashes from pageant competitions, nor the other stuffed with baby shoes, baptismal outfits and mementoes of her children Jon Benet and Blake, could possibly prepare me for what I saw when I entered the bedroom. The foot of the bed housed a television that rose by remote. The perfectly appointed space had entries to his and her bathrooms and closets. Although his was quite understated and unremarkable, hers was on a level, I had never seen before. Shoes and gowns bagged and boxed, marked and categorized with the dates and pageants lined the walls from floor to ceiling. I think that I owned 5 pair of shoes at the time. I wound back down from that third floor trophy room in a zombie-like state of shock.
I drove to North Boulder and stepped into my unadorned home knowing my life as I knew it was over. After being surrounded with lovely holiday décor, I shuddered while looking around at the bare surfaces. I greeted my husband and kids, gave them a quick hug and ran back out to the car, speeding off to the craft store. My addiction had begun.
Since that fateful day, I have anticipated the after Christmas sales like an addict waiting for a fix. I have poured over catalogs and then planned strategies – equal to a serious combat mission – for shopping on the 26th. I have dragged my mother and sister, Patty, along and we have taken turns standing in long lines while filling shopping baskets full of the half-price holiday items.
17 years later, I look around my home with the full knowledge that we will not be entertaining during the holiday season and this should put an end to the madness. But this obsession with the need to decorate runs deep. It has infected even the most logical part of my personality. Every last Christmas tree – yes there are several – will be put up and every box will be unpacked. Our home will be transformed for my family – oh please – for myself!
While touring the Ramsey home, I gasped at the amazing decorations and caught the bug that will probably infect me for a lifetime. It can be contagious and I have unwittingly infected others. This is the burden I have to bear. So this year as I look around at my own festive home I would like to say, “Thanks a lot Patsy Ramsey wherever you are…”
Do you decorate for the holidays or are you satisfied with a Christmas tree?
Daily Camera Newspaper photo by Mick Grassmick
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You certainly caught the bug in a big way, but your decorations are gorgeous! I love that table setting ~ and did I spot a Mark Roberts fairy in there? As I was decorating this year, I realized I can’t buy any more holiday things because I’m full up! I even have three boxes in the garage that are unpacked because I don’t know where to put everything. Yikes. That bug is an addictive sucker, but oh, so much fun!
Thanks Tameri for stopping by to read!
I think I am done too! I may go out after Christmas just to buy hostess gifts for next year, but I always say that! Hahaha!
My mother is this way! We used to have a running joke every year that every item in the house was replaced by something Christmas-themed except for the toilet paper! And then one year, she found toilet paper decorated with holly berry print…
Hahaha! That is too funny!
So hilarious! Oh, if Patsy Ramsey could see your house. But the decorations are gorgeous, even if they were indeed born from Christmas insanity (and yes, I can relate).
Thanks Caro! I am sure she would be proud that I was so profoundly touched by the tour of her house and yet my decor is nothing like the fresh flowers and swags she had….
Thanks for stopping by to read!
You seem a rare gem my friend, I love that despite all the negitive things you could have said about a woman we have all thrown stones at(may she rest in the arms of our savior) you have found something beautiful to say of her…not what I expected by the title, I was happily surprised, Great write! You are a wonderful author to read, I enjoyed your flow in this article.
Wow! Thank you so much! I decided not put one single thread of what my true feelings are about what happened since I really don’t know. I thought the title would catch people’s attention, but it is true! It will take me hours to take down all of the decorations. Hahaha!
I hope you will stop again my new friend!
Wow. Way to stay on topic; you showed amazing restraint. I used to deliver prescriptions to Joe Bonanno while in college; he was very personable and welcoming as well…
Thanks for stopping by to read! I thought it would be funnier if I didn’t make any reference to the elephant in the room!!
This almost made me laugh… till I stubbed my toe on some more of my wife’s cluttered decor… no wait, I meant, eclectic collection… anyway, as long as it makes you happy… I wonder which “Patsy Ramsey” I can point a finger at? I know… I’ll blame it on the Ma-in-Law!
Sorry I missed your comment, HH!
I’m just about to embark on this decorating obsession again. Ha! I was going through old posts to see if I had uploaded many pictures of my house in full Christmas decoration mode. This post shows a small part of it!
It’s so warm here in Colorado, we’re going to tackle the Christmas lights tomorrow. Too soon?
Thanks for stopping by!
Woah you are a decorating queen! 😀
We don’t even have a tree yet this year! 😦 My husband’s friend said he’d give him a lift to pick out a tree, but they have been working until midnight every night, so they still didn’t get a chance.
It’s definitely an obsession. Ha! You should see my house this year! It’s crazy and we didn’t entertain. The family is coming into town over the next few days so it’s all worth it! I’ll Instagram a few pictures. Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for reading, Josy!
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Yay! I’ll watch out for the piccies on instagram!
OMG. This post just about did me in. As a Decoration-Averse Person, just reading it made me exhausted! Seriously, though. I admire your writing almost as much as your dedication to decor. Your home looks so festive it’s hurting me. (Nice pic of you and your mom in the paper, BTW)
Awww! Thanks so much. I wrote that post years ago. You should see my house now. Hahaha! I should frame that picture. My mom would love to see it again!
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Do I decorate..my Christmas crockery has come with me around the world and it comes out from the 1st..The Christmas mugs and t/towels..Tablecloths and crockery and how many trees well…I am the only person where I live to have a tree(s) I have bought a little bit of an English Christmas to Thailand…Thais don’t celebrate Christmas 🙂 But I do 🙂