Each year, I look forward to waking up while it’s still dark out, filling up my mug, plugging in the tree, and snuggling up in my favorite chair.
And each year I bug my husband to let me decorate a little bit earlier. I’m like Buddy the Elf, and I just can’t wait!
And yet, each year my husband has some really great points as to why we should wait to decorate.
- We haven’t fully unpacked from our move.
- We desperately need to go through the kid’s stuff.
- And the thought of adding anything else to our already full home does feel a little overwhelming.
But I want my tree up! An all-lit-up Christmas tree makes even the most mundane tasks of the day seem magical.
If you are finding yourself like me—wanting to decorate but overwhelmed with your current situation—read on. I have 3 tips for both of us to prepare our homes for the holidays. (If you are dreading the holiday season, you may want to click over and read the post on preparing your heart for the holidays. I’ll wait right here, promise.)
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3 Tips to Help You Prepare Your Home for the Holidays
1. Clear Out All of the Clutter
As a child, each one of my siblings and I had our own mini Christmas tree. It was decorated with our favorite ornaments. It was a big deal when our trees came out, and we finally go to decorate them to display in our bedrooms.
My mom had one rule about them. You didn’t get your tree until you purged, cleaned, and organized your room. And since we all wanted our tree, we did.
As an adult, I follow the same rule for my family. I refuse to add anymore anything until I have properly dealt with the mess I currently have.
I like to start a couple of weeks before I want to put up decorations. I choose a room, and I get rid of anything that a) doesn’t belong, b) isn’t useful, or c) doesn’t bring joy. It’s a lot easier to enjoy your holiday decorations when they aren’t mixed in with clutter.
Trust me. I know.
It may feel like a lot at the time, but it will be worth it.
2. Don’t Put Up Any Decorations You Don’t Love
Another “rule” I have adopted over the years is that I don’t put up anything I don’t love. That means all of that stuff you inherited that’s festive yet not your style you get to leave in the box this year. And after you have all of your decorations out that you want out take that box to a consignment shop.
Hey, just because you don’t love it doesn’t mean someone else won’t!
When we only decorate with things that we love, it makes the process AND the end result so much better.
3. Only Do What Fits Your Family’s Holiday Mission Statement
If it doesn’t fit your holiday mission statement, if it’s not a part of why you are celebrating, don’t do it. If you aren’t Jewish, you’re not going put up a Menorah. It would serve no purpose. It’s the same for other holiday items you have no use for.
If you dream of a holiday full of friends and family (and children), don’t put out anything that’s breakable. Save yourself and your parent-friends the stress.
If cozy, intimate conversations are part of your holiday plan, then you’ll want to create an area filled with blankets and pillows and dim lighting. Don’t clutter the area with “stuff” make it purposeful and beautiful.
If focusing on Jesus is your main mission, decorate with reminders of Him. Find Scripture art (Pinterest is awesome for this!). Make a Jesse Tree. Hang an Advent calendar. Display a Nativity. Add whatever it is that will remind you of the “reason for the season.”
Decorating doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s as simple as this: If you want to have a holiday where you focus on Jesus, your family and serving others, then don’t add things don’t facilitate it.
A Final Grace-filled Reminder
Your home doesn’t need to look like a magazine cover. It merely needs to fit the needs of your family. Hang up those silly handmade ornaments that make your son smile, leave the priceless antique nativity set in the box until that same son a little gets older, and enjoy the simplicity of a low-maintenance, cozy home this holiday season.
Keep loving well!