She stands holding up the Santa Claus table runner and asks again, "Where should we put THIS, Mama?"
I sit staring at Grandma Rosie's bright green, sequin-laden holiday monstrosity.
The girls have already helped me place all of our favorite holiday decorations around the house.
We're now to the [blah] section of the decoration box — the random regretable clearance buys you feel bad getting rid of because you just bought the "must have it" sale item last year, the old holiday hand-me-downs, the collection of gotta-keep-it guilt pieces.
I sit dumbfounded, unsure how to best phrase my response to this sparkling family treasure.
My daughter plays with the felt puff balls along the runner's edge and then lays it on the back of the couch, exclaiming, "It looks pretty here."
She then proceeded to spin around the living room half-singing, half-yelling Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs with her little sister.
She's distracted, so I do something I've never done before; I put the lid on the storage container, still half full of "not my favorite" decorations, and put it back into the basement.
A Different Definition of Minimalism
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with holiday hand-me-downs and family heirlooms. We've got beautiful hand-pinned sequin ornaments from Grandma Rosie on our tree and treasured hand-quilted blankest around the house.
But must we display every item ever given to us?
I say no. No, we don't.
Now, I've got to admit I've recently fallen into minimalism. My husband is a true minimalist, but me — well, I love stuff; gift-giving is my Love Language.
So, how could I possibly be a minimalist?
My definition of minimalism is different.
I don't want my kids to think of minimalism as getting rid of everything they own. I want them to see it as the exact opposite. I want my children to learn the power of surrounding themselves with people and things that bring them absolute joy.
What NOT To Do This Weekend
So, what NOT to do this weekend?
Mindlessly pull out the holiday decorations and start trimming the tree.
In life, we tend to simply go through the motions. We get up and live our day-to-day, never genuinely questioning our actions.
The same can be true during the holidays. We walk through the season without thought.
Send holiday cards. [check]
String up the tree lights. [check]
Decorate the house. [check]
Do Something Daring — Be Intentional
I invite you to do something DARING this year.
Your holiday challenge:
Only display decorations you absolutely LOVE.
It might initially feel uncomfortable, letting go of supposed-to.
Do it anyway.
How To Declutter Decorations BEFORE The Holidays
If you're feeling energetic, I highly recommend decluttering holiday decorations before Christmas as you prep your house for the season, not after.
Starting is as easy as 1-2-3.
01. Gather Everything Together In One Spot
First, go to the basement, the hall closet, and the attic, and gather ALL of your holiday items and place them in ONE SPOT.
You'll want to grab your decorations, your holiday kitchen items, your kids' Christmas sheets, the outdoor string lights — Everything. Together. One spot.
It is much easier to assess what you have and declutter when everything is together in a single location.
02. Grab Three Boxes
Next, grab yourself a recycling bin, a garbage can, and three cardboard boxes. Label the boxes —donate, give, save.
Finally, turn on the holiday tunes and set the mood.
This is going to be fun, I promise.
Let's get rolling.
03. Put Out The Things You Love
Start the decluttering process simply by putting out your favorite holiday decorations!
Again, taking a "minimalistic approach" towards the holidays is not about getting rid of everything you own; instead, it is about surrounding yourself with the things (and people) you love.
For example, I love snuggling my daughter with this fleece-lined holiday blanket while watching Christmas movies. I also adore this handmade tree-hugger ornament my daughter made in kindergarten.
04. Ask Yourself These Questions
After you've got your absolute favorite items out, it is time to start decluttering holiday decorations. Grab your three boxes:
- DONATE — Items you're going to box up and put in your car today.
- GIVE — Sentimental items you want to gift to friends and family.
- SAVE — A place to collect holiday decluttering roadblocks.
As you go through your things, here are five questions you can ask yourself to make the process easier.
05. Save Sentimental For Later
There are always a few things — sentimental things, family things, gifted things — that make decluttering holiday decorations hard.
Don't let these things slow you down.
If you've got specific items that don't necessarily bring you joy, but you also cannot bear the thought of donating or giving it away, it's ok.
Don't feel pressured to display these holiday decorations in your home. Just add the items to your SAVE BOX.
After your house looks just as you want, close the SAVE BOX and put it back into storage guilt-free.
06. Reasses & Reflect After The Holidays
When it is time to take your decorations down, do another assessment and declutter holiday decorations as you pack up. Ask yourself...
- Did anything break (or burn out) during the holidays?
- Will you be excited to put this item out again next year?
- Could someone else benefit more from having it?
When you put away your decorations, be sure to take a moment to review the SAVE BOX you had in storage.
How did it feel not showcasing these particular items? Do you feel comfortable with donating some of the items now, after the holiday? If yes, great. If not, don't fret. Pack up the box guilt-free and reassess next season again!
. . .
I have to be honest; it took me three years of boxing up that crazy green Santa table runner before I could let it go guilt-free. Remember simple living is not a destination, but rather an ongoing journey.
I hope you enjoy a peaceful, UnBusy holiday season with your family surrounding by decorations that bring you absolute JOY.
Pin this post for later: