The glorious holiday season is upon us, and I want to confess something to you. I don’t really love decorating for Christmas. I do in theory, of course. But the actual decorating of all the things with small children underfoot: not for me. I find that by December 26th, I am itching to get it all taken down. And now there aren’t just Christmas decorations but also a slew of new toys. I become my own little “get all this stuff out of here before I lose it” Ebenezer Scrooge.
I want to feel like this:
But I end up feeling like this:
I feel suffocated.
Friends, this is no way to be merely one day after Celebrating the Birth of Christ!
BUT THIS YEAR I am trying a few things differently. I am preparing to prepare for Christmas. I am, as Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) calls it, quieting the house before we decorate it. And I can already see it helping.
Below are some things I am doing the week before we decorate. My next post will have some plans for decorating this year in order to minimize clutter (and the subsequent stress it brings) and maximize rest and enjoyment. So today I give you phase 1:
Put away any unnecessary things that are normally out and don’t bother you, but during the holidays are not necessary and will just add to the clutter. You can grab a bin and stick all of the items in it and then hide it in a closet or the garage, knowing you will unpack it again in the new year. Things such as:
- Extra fridge magnets
- Little quotes or pieces of paper that aren’t necessary
- Anything you cook with that you usually have on the counter but can easily fit in the cabinet
*I know these changes seem super small and tedious, but they really do add up!
Go through the children’s toys and get rid of any that are broken, have missing pieces, or are no longer played with. If your children are older they can likely help you with this. If they are two, they will likely make it much harder to do. Trust me on that one.
- This is a really good opportunity to discuss giving some toys (that are in really good condition) away at Christmas, and help them to understand not all children receive presents at Christmas. You could even make a plan to go out and buy some gifts to donate to an organization that gives children gifts at Christmas. This website has an awesome, really helpful list, or you could look for something through your local church, food bank, etc.
Go through your Christmas decorations and decide two things:
- Which ones you actually like and want to keep. Get rid of those you don’t. Donate them so someone who loves that particular style of decorating can find it and fall in love with it!
- Which ones you love, but might not be good for this year. For example, I have a lot of little Christmas trinkets that I love. However, I know that if I put them all out this year with all the kids big enough to reach basically any counter that it might just be a bit too much. Lord willing, I will get to celebrate many Christmases to come and put them out again. Just not this year.
Alright everyone! Those are three things I did this week to prepare for decorating for Christmas.
- Store until January any unnecessary things that aren’t bad, but add to the holiday clutter
- Purge the children’s toys of any that are broken, have missing pieces, or are no longer played with
- Go through your Christmas decorations and decide which you will display this year
Hope you found this helpful, and please leave a comment if you have any other good ideas for pre-decorating!