Peaceful Decorating Tips

Life and Happiness

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have great memories from my childhood and I love the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season. But in the last few years, I’ve noticed that my fervor for Christmas has waned a bit. Everything seems to be too overwhelming, complicated and stressful.

Two years ago, I put up a tree without any ornaments. I thought people would think I was weird, but I got a lot of support for it. It felt…clean, fresh and uncluttered. I love my tree and almost always use white lights (which my husband thinks is boring). This time of year is always so dark and dreary in this part of PA and the white lights brighten my mood and the room. Without all the ornaments getting in the way, I was able to simply bask in the glow of the warm lights. I felt calm and peaceful when I looked at that tree.

I don’t have a ton of decorations (although my husband would disagree)(he should see some of the stuff I see from my friends on Facebook!) but I keep them in four large tote boxes. Each year my hubby would bring all of those totes up into the living room and I’d work at digging out the decorations I wanted and display them around the first floor. But the totes often frustrate me. They get in the way and I can’t seem to decorate fast enough so I can remove them from my space. I hate anything out of order and my OCD just goes into overdrive.

This year, my hubby has been swamped with work and doctorate schooling so I decided to just work at it as I could. I can’t bring the totes up the steps myself (narrow steps) so I have gone down to the basement the last three days and searched through the boxes for decorations I’d like to display instead.

I found it fun and exhilarating. I got exercise from traversing the steps so much and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the four large boxes sitting in my way. As I decorated, my Christmas spirit rekindled and I felt the urge to do more and more. (Thankfully, I only have so many decorations!)

In addition, the hubs helped me with some outside decorations that I’ve been wanting for awhile. It finally looks like I want it to look out there and I’m happy. Our neighbors all have brilliant displays involving multiple colored lights, stockings, sleds, reindeer and snowflakes, but I have a simple sled from my youth and two small trees – with white lights. I won’t win any decorating contests, but I love it and that’s all that matters to me.

We still have the tree to put up…maybe this weekend when the hubs gets time to help me. The empty space in the front room is killing me so I hope he has time… I’m not sure if I’ll use ornaments this year. Maybe I’ll do a variation. Whatever it is, I want it to be soothing, calming and non-stressful.

How about you? Do the holidays overwhelm you and stress you out? Have you thought about what you can do to make it better? Break out of old habits and societal norms – just do what YOU feel is right for you.


4 thoughts on “Peaceful Decorating Tips

  1. Some Christmas seasons have been harder than others for our family. We had a rough stretch where during a ten year period, there were seven years in which close loved ones were ill and in their final days of this life as Christmas approached. To say that decorating, baking, shopping, etc. were low on the list is an understatement.

    During those years, we had to make some decisions about what we were able to do with our limited resources. For several years, we erected only a simple tabletop pre-lit tree from the drugstore. It may have been small, but it was easy and it brought a sense of peace to look at it.

    Every year now, we decide as a family what we are going to do during the holiday season. It’s always a little bit different, but because our situation changes from year to year, we have decided that it makes sense to revisit traditions and adjust them as needed. For example, for many years, we participated in Operation Christmas Child through our church. This year, church did their collection and box packing party before Thanksgiving. Since our family was in a super busy time for the first few weeks of November, we just could not get that shopping done. We felt pretty awful to not be able to do that this year. But a week later, we learned of a different opportunity. We participated in helping a domestic violence shelter. The shelter was collecting gently used purses filled with new items. Children were allowed to “shop” for purses to give to their moms for Christmas. My daughters and I collected and filled five purses. In this way, we kept our tradition of doing something for others.

  2. I love Christmas time and often start thinking of it when most others are rolling their eyes about decorations sitting on store shelves so early.
    I don’t do a lot of decorating (and I love white lights btw…not boring at all). I spread some greens and winterberries around, a nativity, and a homemade manger. I also love making an advent chain for the kids. As they countdown each day, the chain gives them winterberry/Christmas activities to do. Their anticipation and enthusiasm is contagious.

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