Christmas decorations for the home provide the lion’s share of all seasonal marketing year in and year out. The Victorians were the first to install—and instill—holiday scenes and festive touches in each room of their houses. Manufacturing and mass merchandising were coming into their own and the burgeoning middle class all of a sudden had income to spend on baubles that were only meant to be enjoyed a few weeks of the year. But it was always sensible to pack them away for the next year, so as not to be too frivolous. These little decorating novelties often became imbued with memories and sentiment, however, and extra care was taken so they could be brought out annually, along with the stories they told and the feelings they evoked about the family whose attic in which they resided 11 months of the year.
That’s the sociologist’s clinical observation of it. But I want to interject here that all those stacked boxes, all those reams of creased and worn tissue paper, hold items that you can not only use every year, but can use in unexpected ways, and add some real depth and flavor to your Christmas decorating.