Last Thursday I got started on the Christmas decorating and I’ve got to tell you my heart wasn’t in it. Just the thought of cluttering up my living room sent chills up my spine. Mind you those chills didn’t last unfortunately because it was 7:30am and already 26˚C (79˚F) outside. I was however determined to get this done so I could share my experience with you today in advance of those who will be performing the same task soon.
I have one large box of tree and table decorations, a large nativity scene and a 2m (6½ ft) tree. Not much in the big scheme of things but more than enough in my book. As I mentioned on Monday, earlier on in the year I had already ruthlessly culled. You can go back and see the photo of that decluttering effort on Monday’s post if you missed it.
The funny thing was then when I went to decorate the tree I had culled so many decorations that the tree looks a little sparsely covered this time. I am considering trying to swap for a smaller tree on Freecycle. Kind of weaning myself off if you like. The idea of having no tree at all just doesn’t sit well with me yet.
I managed to declutter even further while I performed the task of decorating. Just a few touches here and there was all I felt we needed. Below is a photo slide show of the entire process.
Here are some of my thoughts as I went through this process.
- The tree is too big for this house but I really don’t want to go treeless at this point and there is no way I am buying a new smaller tree. I’ll try doing a swap on freecycle.
- I love the look of the beautiful full-on Christmas decorating that you see in glossy magazines but it just isn’t sustainable or me.
- Christmas really lost its sparkle for me when I grew up and I could afford to buy things for myself. The sparkle returned to a certain degree when the children were little and especially when we experience our first winter Christmas but now the sparkle has gone again.
- Will there be grandchildren one day to bring back the Christmas sparkle and will I be sorry if I decluttered the tree altogether before then.
- When did Chirstmas become so much about the decorating and gifts and so little about the birth of Jesus.
- With that last thought in mind I feel inclined to keep my nativity scene out of respect even though I don’t have a good position for it.
- I like the festive feel of having some decorations around but I hate the space they take up in the garage for the other 330 or so days of the year.
- My husband made a comment that the corner was cluttered. Bah Humbug! He was right though.
- I like the idea of natural decorations but I am not going out of my way or to any expense to acquire them.
- Old habits die hard and although I want to keep it simple I still feel slightly like I am missing out on something.
Regardless of all my thoughts above my overriding desire is to enjoy a simplified Christmas without all the consumerism, fuss and bother. So long as I have my Christmas pudding, my hot lunch (even if it is 37˚c outside), a bowl or two of nuts and candy around and at least one person to share it with I will be happy.
If you aren’t sure what level you want to stop at when it comes to decorating take some time to think about what are your most favourite aspects of celebrating the holidays. Things that you wouldn’t what to do without and then consider what extras you really want on top of that. Don’t forget to consult the rest of you family.
Christmas comes but once a year and means something different to everyone and my advice is to celebrate it in whatever style suits you. If you feel inclined, declutter only what you feel comfortable with. And should you feel like going all out please try your best to be as sustainable as possible in the process.
Today’s Declutter Item
These are the items that were decluttered from my Christmas stash during my early pre-Christmas preparations last week. I will get them to the thrift store tomorrow so someone who is a keener decorator than I can find them and use them this year.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
An unexpected call from a friend asking if I wanted to join her and another friend for lunch and coffee. I had already had lunch but I was keen to enjoy their company for an hour or two. Coffee ended up being a chocolate shot over caramelised fig gelato. What’s not to be grateful for in the combination.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast