Am I alone in liking a simple decorating scheme? The chaos of glitter, lights and “stuff” everywhere makes me want to run screaming from the house. When my excitement is small I can feel a bit like a Grinch. Everyone else is thrilled with idea getting out all blingy chaos and yet I dread decorating the house for Christmas. I don't like the family friction when I voice my preference for a few simple decorations and the family wanting to hang garland from the ceiling fans in every room. (I'm so not kidding about this!)
We have reached a compromise over how much to put out in the past couple of years. I’ve also found some ways to keep my stress over the "overwhelm" from the decorations to a minimum.
Ways to stay sane in Christmas decor chaos
1. Put out what you really love
My husband really loves all of his childhood ornaments because he has one for every year. Yep that means we have 45+ years of ornaments. Some of them are very fragile and we don’t usually put those out.
We've carried on that tradition by givingour kids an ornament each year. So we have LOTS of ornaments. To limit the weight on our tree I ask them to only put out the ones they really love.
The first year in our current house I discovered that I LOVE putting greenery on the kitchen cabinets because it really made it smell good and look festive in the room where we spend most of our time.
The natural green color is also calmer and less chaotic for me.
2. Have a way to CONTAIN the crazy
Christmas books and little kid nativities used to be scattered all over the floor when my children were little. Now that they are teens this isn't such a problem. However we have a granddaughter so I want those things out for her to enjoy. To contain the books this year I lined a basket and now the books are contained but available when she comes to visit. The nativities are displayed on the front of the fire place readily accessible for her.
3. Sprinkle the “joy” in each room
I encourage my children to take a little Christmas to their rooms if there isn’t space in the more visible living areas of our home. They enjoy this and it keeps the living room a little quieter and less chaotic for me. Having a few decorations in the dining room and a kitchen also keeps the chaos to a dull roar in the living room with the tree and lights. I love my DIY glitter letters that are displayed on top of my mom's china cabinet in our dining room.
Just enough "sparkle" for me!
4. Set a time limit on how long the decorations will be out
This is where the friction usually shows up for us. I’m ready to take it all down right after Christmas and I hold off a few days but it is usually all down by New Years. The snowmen can stay out and I love white paper snowflakes on the windows but all the rest is back in the box for another 11 months.
5. Explain why to your family
This is HUGE. When I communicated WHY the busy, chaotic glittery stuff that was everywhere made me crazy, then my family totally was on board with having a plan to keep MOM sane.
This year we have delayed getting out all the Christmas decor because we are waiting for my college girl to be home home to decorate the tree. Life has been WAY too insane for us to get it all out. It is a way to help her feel we aren't doing all the Christmas things without her! Everyone is READY to start this weekend. The kids even cleaned and rearranged the living room so the tree would fit.
Decorating for Christmas a family thing. It is one our best family traditions and helps me to focus on my list of Christmas essentials.