Thanksgiving and Black Friday have passed. I suppose it's officially the holiday season.
How did you vote with your dollars yesterday? We opted outside. Trying to be mindful of what's important to us....and snuggling with a very fuzzy horse won out over deals on stuff we didn't need!!
So moving on...Decorations!
Not gonna lie...this is my favorite part of Christmas. Each year, we get a Noble Fir tree, put a pot of spiced water on the stove to make the room smell good (cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spices with the burner on high enough to make the mixture steam!), and queue up the Christmas music. Unwrapping each ornament, I pause to think about the person it came from or what was going on the year I got it. It's my favorite trip down memory lane.
Do you have any rituals for decorating? Or is it just a bit of chaos and frustration as you try to find and unload your Christmas presents from where they were stashed last year? It used to be frustrating to me, but I've figured out a few ways to make it easier.
1. The time to sort and purge decorations is when you take them out to decorate for the current year. I tell all my clients to wait until then - it's not worth doing twice in a year. So now that you have them down, as you take each ornament and decoration out, ask yourself if you still love it. Was it from someone that brings up good memories, or from someone you're now estranged from? Do you still like it's color or texture? Do you just have too many and someone else could benefit from them? Are any cracked or broken...maybe it's time for it to go to the big Christmas tree in the sky.
2. Use an ornament storage box - this can be as simple as a cardboard wine box with the bottle dividers still in place. Trader Joe's always has plenty for free. If you'd like to purchase one, they are available at Target or Amazon and are plastic or canvas bins with cardboard dividers. This keeps your ornaments from making a tangled mess. Wrap each in a bit of recycled paper at the end of the season and they will stay protected and neat until next year.
3. For the rest of your decorations, aim for 2 or 3 plastic bins' worth. This seems to be a manageable amount that doesn't feel overwhelming to take out or put away. 66qt bins with red lids can help make them easily identifiable in your garage or shed.
4. Wrapping supplies also tend to get unruly - I used to have several boxes, but have now pared down to one. Is it possible for you to donate some of your unused bags and bows or share them with friends? Hosting a wrapping partying and pooling supplies can be a lot of fun! Once you've pared down a bit, consider using a wrapping paper specific bin if you mostly have wrapping paper OR a single plastic tub if you generally use bags and tissue. Also, keep your eye out for alternative wrapping supplies as most commercial ones wind up in the landfill. Repurpose boxes from Amazon, the grocery store or anywhere else you can find them.
I hope these tips help! If you have any ideas to share or holiday rituals you love, please share them in the comments.