Oh, the holidays! How I love thee!
Seriously, I l-o-v-e this time of year. I love the white snow, the bright lights, the music, the beautiful decorations and it does not hurt that red is my favorite color.
Earlier in my adult life, I accumulated A LOT of holiday decorations. First from craft-type shows, and later on clearance the day after Christmas (times several years). I put up three trees (a narrow one in the dining room, a larger one in the front window and a real one in the basement – and only because I loved doing it!) and decorated for about two days, removing most of my usual décor for the holiday season, only to have to haul it back out again come January.
As much as I love Christmas and all that goes with it, I have to say that since I have had kids #3 and #4, I have really felt the need to enjoy a more simple holiday season. Call me crazy.
This inspired me to donate a lot of my holiday décor last season. Instead of a zillion knick-knacks, I am enjoying freshly cut evergreens from my yard, pulling together white and cream items from my house and displaying them on the mantle, kids artwork and (yes), still 3 trees – but they are simply decorated, I swear. And I still love decorating those. Honest.
I wrap the presents early and use those as additional decorations. I have put white candles on a plate with sand for a table decoration, lined up a few red vases with cut evergreens in them, and cut some pretty branches from the yard to use as garland for a few weeks. Even a glass bowl with apples in it is festive this time of year. You can see in the picture above, I cut evergreen branches and put them in our pots outside – I add bows that I reuse every year. As an added bonus, the presents magically go away on their own eventually, and (other than the trees) the rest can stay out past January 1 without getting you labeled as the crazy Christmas lady.
Simplicity aside, there will still be some decorations. Here are some tips for organizing what you keep.
When you pull out the decorations for the season is a great time to weed through things you know you can live without. Keep only what you love and bring the rest to Goodwill, a thrift store or call a local charity pick up. If you like something a lot, but know it is time for it to leave your house, consider asking a friend to take it (if you think it will go well in his or her house). Paring down now will be a great first step to getting more organized.
Next, consider what space you have to store your holiday decorations. I have a spot under my basement steps. That’s all I am willing to devote to holiday decorations (including Halloween, Easter and so on). If I can’t fit everything in, then something has got to go. Limiting yourself to your available space is a great way to pare down.
Once you know your space, be sure to use containers that fit well in the space. You don’t have to buy new containers – you can use similarly sized boxes and things like garland can often fit into a trash bag that is stored on the very top of the stack.
As you fill your containers, try to layer the breakable stuff between the softer items, like stuffed animals, stockings, runners or soft decorations. As you unwrap your items for the season, save any tissue paper that you can – I have been able to reuse mine for a few years before refreshing the paper.
I hope you will consider simplifying if you are overwhelmed by your decorations. I have found a more basic holiday to be even more enjoyable.
A great gift for yourself!
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