Christmas Decorations

What to do with ALL THAT STUFF?

Decorations do help make this holiday season a beautiful and special time to celebrate and remember. They can also be an expression of creativity that blesses our Creator, the maker, and all the viewers.

But they add up. More boxes are needed to store them. The closet door has trouble closing in January. Sound familiar?

So…back to our question: What can be done with all the decorations?

Consider where they are stored. If you have a place that is out of the way, hidden until opened once a year, and a manageable size, you are helping yourself a great deal. Tripping over the cascade of ornaments in July doesn’t make anyone happy. For many years, all my decorations were stored in an antique chest that served as an end table year-round. I opened it twice a year, once to decorate and once to store again. The rest of the time it was a great table.

Is the size of the storage space reasonable for your purposes? Think about what is important to you when decorating for the holidays. Do you have more than is serving your goal? There is a difference between finding a space to put stuff and deciding how much space you would like to assign for certain things. Look at the purpose and then find the place.

Reflect onĀ what is stored. Again, think about your goal with decorating and pass on what you do not use and doesn’t meet your purpose. Just like clothes, you don’t need to save a wreath for 10 years after you start using one that suits you better — or just in case you ever might want to display it. Be intentional about your stuff, just like you carefully spend your time and energy.

Have a plan for how stuff is stored. Use the closet tips we’ve talked about before. Label, label, label. Know what you have. Contain stuff. Fix it before you pack it up; you won’t want to do repairs when you are ready to decorate. Put it up so it’s easy to take down when you want it.

May you have a merry and beautiful Christmas! And more organized storage for next year…

Getting Ready for Christmas

Going to a big family dinner? Spending a quiet day at home? Traveling across the country? Gathering with local single friends? No matter how you plan to spend Christmas, a little preparation will help make it better.

Before you get caught up in the holiday rush, stop and think about your priorities. What is most important this month? How will you show that in what you do? What is key and what is just nice if it works? Is this the year to simply post an Advent calendar for daily family use or the year that the whole family is coming to your house and you want to be ready to welcome them with a festive environment? Will you be traveling, so packing is a priority, or hosting, so meal planning is key? Will you be skipping the gifts and holiday shopping this year and simply resting in the gift of a Savior? Make a list (if you have several things) or post a visual reminder for yourself (if you want to really focus on one or two things) to help you stay on track.

Once you have that down, make a plan. Think about what it will take to fulfill your priority. If giving is key, make your Christmas list. If hosting is your jam, jot down some meal plans. If travel is on the calendar, nail down the timing, reservations, and packing list. If a quiet holiday is for you, prepare for the time of rest. Set yourself up for success rather than hoping everything will work out somehow. Brainstorm enough to be confident you have covered the big stuff.

Finally, block time in your calendar to work your plan. Mark out the path this month so that you know when you need to do what. It may not happen each time, but you will have placeholders and reminders to help you along the way. Adjust as needed and keep walking.

Once you’ve covered your bases, you can relax and enjoy the holiday season!