I have some minor hoarding tendencies, mostly involving excessive amounts of books and clothes. But when it comes to decorating for the holidays, I prefer a clean, streamlined, and muted look. A few strands of twinkling white lights, some live greenery, and a dozen or so ornaments compose my Christmas décor most years.
This hand-painted ornament is always a sentimental and aesthetic favorite. Quimper faïence (hand-painted pottery) comes from Brittany in Western France. The art dates to the early 18th century, and it is emblematic of Brittany. Each piece is signed. Motifs include traditional dress and florals, like the one I feature in this post.
My thoughtful aunt Susie gifted this treasure to me years ago, and each time I slip it from its velvety pouch, my mind returns to our visits in France, Italy, and the Midwest. Cool and heavy in my hand, this art piece also connects me to the artist who carries on this Breton tradition, as well as to friends from Brittany who have passed through my life over the years.
I admire minimalists for their empty closets and the clean looks they create in their homes. I am not ready to significantly shorten my book stacks, nor am I prepared to thin out my extensive scarf collection. Yet I emulate their restraint through my commitment to holiday minimalism. My light touch keeps me from feeling bogged down by Christmas “stuff.” Each of my ornaments holds a story, which allows me to enjoy the season all the more.