Uncluttered holiday decorations

Whatever holidays you celebrate — at this time of year, or any other time — you may choose to include decorating as part of the festivities. Here are some ideas about holiday decorations that might resonate with you.

Choosing decorations as gifts

One of the best holiday gifts I’ve given was a small wooden armadillo, which became part of someone’s Christmas crèche. I knew the recipient well, and knew she had a beloved crèche with an eclectic collection of animals in attendance.

Holiday decorating styles vary wildly; some people do minimal decorations, or none at all, while other go all out. Some use a color theme, and others have a wild mixture of items they’ve collected over the years — each item bringing back memories of people or places. So for the right people, a thoughtful addition to their holiday decorations may be a welcome gift.

Selecting holiday decorations

And what about your own decorations? One idea I’ve read for simplifying things — if that’s what you want to do — is to go big. Barbara Tako writes: “Would you rather dust around a clutter of small decorations on an end table or admire a large wall hanging, decorative runner, or table cloth? Large decorations can create impact without the same maintenance hassle as small knick-knacks.”

And a note of caution: When selecting holiday décor for yourself or others, please be sure to be child-safe and pet-safe. The Pet Poison Helpline will help you avoid plants that are dangerous to cats and dogs. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission has a publication, in PDF format, listing holiday decoration safety tips.

Remembering the good ideas

Did you do really like the way you arranged certain decorations this year? Be sure to take some photos, so you can easily replicate the arrangement in the future.

Going the rental route

For those who like “real” Christmas trees, but not the time it takes to go cut your own (or the fire hazards of trees that dry out too quickly), you might choose to rent a tree. There’s a place in San Jose, Calif., that leases living Christmas trees; you can even get the same tree year after year. Another place rents trees in San Diego, Los Angeles County, and Marin County. There may be a similar place near you.

Eliminating decoration clutter

If you have holiday decorations sitting around that you aren’t overly fond of, passing them on to someone else usually works best when done before the holiday. I’ve just freecycled a large number of Christmas items — wreaths, ornaments, hand towels, lights, and figurines — that I’d have a much harder time placing in January. This would also be a good time to donate such items to a thrift store that benefits a good cause. And a fun idea I just read about is to have an ornament exchange party.

So as you’re pulling decorations out of storage, consider taking some time to pass along those you’re no longer excited about putting on display.

6 Comments for “Uncluttered holiday decorations”

  1. posted by Lisa on

    These are great tips! I would add, possibly rotating what you put out every year. I have a lot of decorations that are heart felt that I love, but I love simplicity, too. So rotate what is put out every year It keeps it “new” and uncluttered.

  2. posted by Sue on

    We have 6 lidded Rubbermaid tubs–no more. Each is numbered, and the contents are listed in NOTES on my iPhone.

  3. posted by Valeria on

    Such a timely post! In January this year I decided I didn’t like my Christmas tree anymore so I bought a new one, but I stored the old one (old, but still in great condition) and I offered it on Freecycle today. I got a handful of responses in a few hours and somebody is coming to pick it up tomorrom morning. I hope they enjoy it as much as I did!

  4. posted by Leslie on

    Came across several garage sales last weekend that were mostly holiday decorations. Folks were going crazy. I sold my Christmas tree at my g sale and I’ve scaled back my decorations to my most loved/enjoyed/appreciated and those are mostly handmade or vintage/antiques. I find that I appreciate the holidays much more putting out less, but well-appreciated items.

    Unfortunately family members don’t feel the same way and both my mom/sibling prescribe to the more is better and therefore, must put everything out. At my sibling’s house that usually means many of them get broken by the cats or the grandkids. And what’s worse, many of those broken decorations will go back in the boxes because maybe they can be fixed.

  5. posted by Pat Reble on

    I have always had toddlers and/or pets to contend with, so over time I have cross stitched a selection of Christmas themed pictures which I use to replace the regular ones for the festive season. They tick the “big” box and are easy to store away flat between seasons. Makes me appreciate the returning pictures more too when I swap them back again (and I hope they will become family heirlooms…)
    For those who aren’t “crafty” I’ve seen something similar done with framed jigsaw puzzles

  6. posted by Beverly on

    I gave my Christmas tree to my brother-in-law (recycled). I sorted through all my decorations and split most of them between my 20-something grandchildren (including new strings of lights)(reused) and sent some ornaments to GoodWill (donated). I have a bamboo tree in the living room with a lighted star top and a strand of lights. This gets the current year’s dated Hallmark ornament. My granddaughter helped me make a tree outline on the wall and we outline it with a string of red/green lights. Christmas stockings are hung on the walls. Thus, there is very little Christmas clutter but we still have decorations. Almost forgot! Last year, I bought Command hooks and hung red glitter poinsettias on my white kitchen cabinets.

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