For years our Christmas boxes kept multiplying We’d receive gobs of ornaments, handmade items and random penguins, snowmen and other winter themed knick knacks. It got a little overwhelming. And when we had more than one kid, changing the house over for Christmas was something I dreaded.
I loved decorating with my mom and brother. But as I grew older it turned into me doing most of it myself. I wonder how much of my mom’s retraction from this time was because of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of boxes as well.
Two Christmas’ ago I started paring down our collection. My criteria was that I wanted, mostly for our children, our surroundings to reflect the “reason for the season”. The one exception I made was in our ornaments.
1. Have a Scheme in Mind
Decide what is important in for your family and home. Do you want a specific color scheme. I went with rich red, purple and silver. Maybe you are more traditional – red, green and white. Or love the winter scheme – white, blue and silver.
Do you like nativities, snowmen, Santa’s and reindeer? A country Christmas or maybe you are in the season of handmade children’s decor. Whatever it is decide as a family what you want your home to be. For us it was eliminating all the commercialism and bringing it back the Christ.
2. Keep the Homemade
Children are so proud of what they make. And we praise them for it! But it can begin to just collect in a box – and end up getting ruined anyway. We’ve been keeping and displaying paper crafts for the year of, when we put decorations away I take a picture of it. Then, known to my daughter, it goes away.
We’ve discussed how much I cherish her hard work and artistry, we’ve also talked about why we can’t keep everything. She’s become very used to the picture taking and often requests it to be done.
Somethings we keep, period. A handmade frame with her picture that every class seems to make. Doily snowflakes ornaments my grandmother made. The strawberry Christmas tree my husband’s grandmother made when he was a boy. Those thing of nostalgia, that might not go with everything, but hold great meaning and joy.
3. Purge Twice
Just what it says. When you unpack your boxes this year, take out the superfluous items you forgot to get rid of last year. You might find some great re-gifts or re-purposing gifts in there!
I must confess, I do have a keepsake box. Things that belonged to my husband and I when we were little. There is no place for them now, but as a child who loved looking through boxes of my parents things, I’m saving these for my children.
Sounds a little odd after the last subject, huh? In my Christ centered decorating, I decided I wanted to get a new nativity each year. They range from ones the kids can play with to breakable treasures. They also range in size, and ornament or a whole shelf of space.
Whatever it is, do limit yourself. Sometimes collections can get out of control when others start adding to it for you. So, graciously receive and give to others if needed. Decide on your limit, is it what will fit in a box, on a shelf or one per year.
5. Create Traditions
What are the things you remember from your childhood? My brother and I got to pick a new ornament each year. This necessitated a growing tree over the years, but it was well worth the memories. This is a tradition we’ve carried on to our kids.
We do an advent count down house, this is our families tradition. Think about what Christmas legacy you want to leave you children with. Is it a special party for decorating the tree. A real tree or pre-lit? Maybe the day after Thanksgiving everything goes up!
Maybe your family needs to go on Pinterest together and get some inspiration?!?