I was putting out the fall and Halloween decorations throughout the house and outside and I began to think that decorating for Christmas was just around the corner. I absolutely love Christmas decorations, but I’ll admit that since the kids have left home, my motivation has waned a bit. Anyhow, I’m getting my mojo back and I’m going to share a few things with you that I think make the job of holiday decorating and un-decorating more palatable.
First of all, several years ago I was dreading the thought of dragging out all the stuff and putting it on display. Another issue I had is that when you put things out, you have to take things down to make room for the decorations. I didn’t want to loathe the job – I wanted to celebrate and make family members and visitors feel festive and warm when they came over.
Well, one day I was at a craft store just walking around. I probably went there to get some yarn or something. All of a sudden I saw this Christmas decoration that I just loved. I impulsively bought it and took it home. That was it. I was so anxious to display it that my motivation to decorate went through the roof. I loved the whole process – just because of that one new Christmas novelty. Now, whenever I start to feel the weight of the chore I go shopping! (for one, new, inexpensive trinket).
Okay. there’s more to it. Here are a few other things I do to make the job easier. If you decorate the same way every year, store all the decorations from the living room in one box, all the family room decorations in another, and so on. Take the decorations out of the box and fill the box with the things that will be put away temporarily. Also, doing it this way you can decorate one room at a time. The job isn’t so overwhelming.
I number each box. I put the number on each side of the box. That way no matter how the box is put back on the shelf, I can see what number box it is. I have a Christmas notebook (more about that in a minute) that lets me know everything that’s in box one, box two and so on. Please don’t roll your eyes – but I also have an alphabetized list. I simply took the box list and made a giant list of all the decorations. Then the computer put them in alphabetical order. Now when I want to find the rag angel, for example, I look on the alphabetized list and see that the angel is in box 7, or whatever.
I put Christmas lights on cardboard spools. I made them out of corrugated cardboard. Just cut a rectangle that’s about 12 x 10 inches. Wrap the strings around the spools and secure the end by cutting a slit on top. You can buy light spools (they look like plastic ladders), but I think free is better.
Wreaths are easily stored in wreath boxes (although they’re bulky). Or you can put the wreaths in large plastic bags and hang them up.
Now it’s time for my Christmas notebook. It contains my decorations’ list (the box list and the alphabetical list). Also, I make notes about how I decorated so I’ll remember what worked the previous year. (Better yet, take a picture.) I have gift lists. I can tell you what I gave my friend Joni in 2001. I’m a crafter and I make a lot of gifts. When I find something that I love to do and it’s well received I make many of them and continue to give them year after year to different people. My gift lists keep me from giving someone the same thing twice. You can keep anything in this notebook: Party info: guests, food, what worked, what didn’t, cost, etc.; Community calendar or holiday events; tv guide to holiday specials and movies; church/school events and plans; holiday stories; greeting card list (hopefully it’s on the computer) – anything that you need to look at or refer to during the holidays.
Now I see why Clement Clark Moore (Twas the Night Before Christmas) could say that not a creature was stirring on Christmas Eve. They were organized!