Holiday Decorating at Cactus Creek in Weston MO - 2019
All of the last 10 days has been about getting the shop ready for the holidays. From dragging out the decorations & vintage Christmas inventory we’ve collected the last year - to tearing the store completely apart - to putting it all back together again. Then having a perfect weekend to celebrate Weston’s Holiday Open House.
My big confession last week on Facebook was that I’ve been a Grinch about Christmas ever since our apartment was on the Holiday Homes Tour a few years ago. It was sooo much work and I felt like I was forcing Christmas on my boys for months getting ready for it.
That, and having been in retail for THIRTY years... that’s THIRTY years of decorating a shop, listening to holiday music for months on end, and hoping that the season pays off financially. Isn’t it supposed to be about baby Jesus?? I get annoyed that Christmas is so commercialized but I am also commercializing it >> so it is a canundrum.
But last week when it was time to start decorating I turned the Christmas music on and I was kind of loving it. I may be falling in ❤️❤️ with Christmas again. Part of that comes from working hard to spend more time in the shop and get my spirit back into the space. Over the last few years we have had a few employees come and go - and frankly I was becoming distracted with other things. But my calling is the shop and that’s where God wants me so I’m committing to being there as much as possible.
Decorating a retail shop for the holidays is a process and for everyone it is different. I like to start in the front and move to the back giving everything about 50% of what I really imagine it having if it was “perfect”. It’s never going to look perfect, the joy is in the continual cycle of buying, merchandising, and selling.
My first inspiration for Cactus Creek’s 2019 Holiday look was the primitive tree canvas on the top left in the picture above. I loved the simplicity of it and envisioned recreating it over and over until the shop overflowed with these sweet trees. Enlisting my three teenage boys and their friends made for some sweet nights around the dining table painting. Family craft nights are under-rated. They may begin with protests but always end in laughs and creativity and unexpected conversations.
I wanted the theme for the front windows to be bonfires. I found these party theme bonfires on Amazon and they were the perfect kitschy-but-easy solution.
Our painted canvases are sprinkled throughout the entire shop. I bought all of them at thrift shops. Most were painted by budding artists - I’m sure you’ve seen the discarded canvases from Bob Ross wannabees at your closest thrift shop or a sale - we just used Rustoleum spray paint to get the canvases back to a neutral white palette for our purposes. I apologize to the artists of the world who are cringing at the though of this spray paint solution.
Finally the shop was done and vacuumed one more time just as we opened the shop door at 10am on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect. Father Christmas was on the streets, carriages, the town Christmas tree was a perfect photo-op. At 5:30 a parade rolled through town followed by the tree lighting where there were so many people. It was really like living in a Hallmark movie.
I’ll keep adding to the holiday decorations as the season moves along and I find new things, while other things will sell and find new forever homes. The cycle will continue and I’m excited to be present and witness to the season this year.