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From Christmas Clutter to Seasonal Simplicity

’Tis the season when we dive into our storage area to pull out all the Christmas decor. Following my mantra of decluttering and simplifying, let’s ask ourselves, “How much seasonal decor do we really need to put out?” In other words, Does it look like Christmas threw up all over your house, or did a Christmas fairy lightly sprinkle your home with touches of holiday cheer?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas! The wreaths, the lights, the sacred and secular music! Seeing cars with trees tied on top and semi trucks with a wreath on the front grill makes me smile. It’s like the whole world is on the same page for a few weeks. It’s magical!

It’s also a very busy time of year. There are concerts and parties, baking and shopping. Perhaps our home should be a place of quiet rest from the hustle and bustle. Instead of putting out all the Christmas items, pick through and just put out those that have a lovely memory associated with them or bring you joy just to look at. Pare down to the basics. (Donate the extras and reclaim valuable storage space.)

Years ago I collected nativity sets and put them all around our home. We had one main set and numerous smaller ones made of brass, wood, etc. The smaller ones were nice, but really had no meaning for me, they were just there to fill a space on a table or a window sill. I thought it was somehow mandatory that every space reflect the holiday. Besides nativity sets, there were holiday baskets and tins, linens and greenery. In my best Irish brogue I started calling it Christmas Crap. Now I only put up our main nativity (we put it under the tree, since Jesus is our best gift) and hang stockings on the mantle. I have a few snowmen put out here and there. (I leave these up through January, since they are really winter decor and not Christmas specific.) I also have a simple red and white plaid table runner that does double duty in the summer. Swap out our summer center piece for an advent wreath and we’re good to go!

Another way to add peace to your decor (Christmas or otherwise) is to have the same color pallet throughout the house. We have touches of maroon, tan and black in every room, so our Christmas decor also has that look. It brings a unifying presence that is not jarring to the eye. Christmas decor comes in every color, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all. Pick your favorites and let them flow seamlessly with your home.

Garland hung at every window? Trees in every room? Every surface covered with decor ? It may be a bit much. Let your home be a place of peace and refuge in this busy season. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Lightly sprinkle the Christmas fairy dust this year. It saves your back, your time and your peace of mind.

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