Who hasn’t spent hours the day after Thanksgiving dragging heavy boxes out of the storage closet to retrieve Christmas decorations, only to find that all of the strands of lights have dead bulbs and the plastic Santa was damaged after packing? Decorating for the holidays can be a stressful experience, but by cutting back on the chaos, it can be enjoyable.
Alternative to Stringing Lights
Hanging Christmas lights is a chore that some look forward to each year and also one that others dread. For those who do not relish untangling lights and replacing old bulbs each year, an alternative to decorating with lights is to hang evergreen wreaths from each window or place electric window candles in each windowsill.
A simple wooden Nativity scene placed in the front yard with a spotlight may be all that is needed. Sometimes a wreath on the door and a few lighted reindeer are plenty for outdoor decorations. There is no need to view Christmas lights as a mandatory part of the holiday season, so for those who do not subscribe to the Clark Griswold method of home decorating, there are alternatives to creating a festive look.
Create a Theme Tree
Adorning the tree each year with hundreds of ornaments passed down throughout the years can become a tedious process. Families can get in the habit of rotating tree décor each year by opting to create a “theme tree.” For example, try decorating a tree with gold balls and red bows, or something similar. This can be a nice addition to any room and is much less time-consuming.
Some families choose to have two trees each year, one theme tree and one decorated by kids with their favorite ornaments. There is no need to weigh a tree down with every single ornament from the past twenty years, and sometimes it looks better with a few carefully-chosen keepsakes.
Discard Outdated Décor
Is that latchhook Santa decoration from the 70s really necessary? Would Christmas be any less complete without the cookie dough handprint ornament made by Aunt Francis twenty years ago? If Christmas decoration boxes are starting to take over the attic, it may be time to get rid of old holiday décor.
No one wants to throw out mementos that hold a sentimental significance, but it’s not necessary to hold onto everything. Make a habit of cleaning out the treasure trove of decorations each year, both to cut back on clutter and to make room for new ones.
Enlist Help from Family Members
There is no need to add to the stress of the holidays by trying to decorate the house and Christmas tree alone. Each family member can help, in big ways or small, and make the experience more enjoyable. Delegate areas of the house to each person; someone can be in charge of outdoor lights, another person can wrap gifts and place them under the tree, and another can hang ornaments.
Children can be in charge of decorating their own rooms, and create their own miniature trees. Students home from college can spend spare time filling out Christmas cards or making popcorn and cranberry strands. Get everyone in on the fun, and it will be less of a chore.
Decorating for Christmas should be fun! The important thing to remember is that it is not necessary to put out every single decoration from the boxes in the attic. Cut back, start early, and ask for help when adorning the house to reflect the beauty of the season.