Making a festive and inviting home for the holidays is part of the fun and joy of the season. But what if the years have brought about a huge collection of decorating items that require much time unpacking, arranging and then packing up to store for another year. Take a peek at our downsized Holiday Home Tour.
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Somehow our holiday storage has become less of a treasure and more of a burden at the thought of hauling up container after container of accumulated decorations and memorabilia.
Heart vs realistic
I am of the baby boomer era and have a deep sense of sentimentalism, spending decades joyfully amassing Christmas decorations. I have purchased, been gifted from friends and children many lovely keepsakes over the years. More treasured items came into our possession when our parents passed.
The truth is, however, we have too much stuff. And another truth is that is isn’t fun anymore to lug the containers up from their 11-month abode to fill the house with stuff as the thought in the back of our mind is that it’s all got to go back again in a few weeks.
Passing on our treasures
It’s been said, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Apparently, this does not apply to holiday decorations. Our kids just don’t want them. Though they love seeing them in our home each year evoking memories and nostalgia of their childhood days, they do not want these items for their own home.
Our daughters prefer a minimalist look. A simple tree adorned with dried oranges and just a few ornaments that they dispose of at the end of the season. I actually like the look and appreciate the ease it affords.
Then there are the grandchildren. Wanting to establish and pass on the same memories our children enjoy, we want to cling to items and share them with the next generation. The hardest decision we made this year was not to set up the trains and village as there are still little ones that would enjoy them. We may regret that decision. But each year, though they try, their not-too-gentle play results in breakage and constant repair. Buying a new set is not happening.
So, we’ve begun to downsize. We’re not all the way there yet but making headway. Here is our 2018 …
Holiday Home Tour
A tabletop tree. It sounds kind of odd to make a new purchase when downsizing but this is where we started. John and I looked at each other as we were about to drag the large tree from storage and then promptly headed to the store to see what we could find. We are loving this pre-lit, potted tree that actually looks bigger when entering the family room.
Adorned with far fewer ornaments, we kept some that belonged to our parents, some handmade German stars and added a few new crocheted poinsettias.
The thrill of receiving this white porcelain nativity set was the highlight of my days back in the 80’s when I worked as a consultant for Home Interior’s. Remember that company? The nativity was available only as a hostess gift and I worked hard to purchase the pieces. I loved it then and I will always love it. I have displayed it on our foyer table and most recently place it on the mantle.
Another tabletop tree greets visitors as they enter the house. Hanging from its branches are a smaller collection of my beloved Names of Jesus ornaments.
The Dining Room
In previous years, the dining room also had a tabletop tree. Not this year. We did keep the small wreaths for the China cabinet doors.
The tabletop tree was in the corner by the window. Now I am liking the emptiness and uncluttered look. A white wreath that once was a table centerpiece now brightens the opposite cabinet. If I can ever figure out how to add lighting to the inside of this cabinet I will be so happy and I will not need the strand of lights above.
This week we hosted our community group Bible study dinner and a low vase of soft vintage roses with a pair of candlesticks was the centerpiece.
A wreath hung on a cabinet door.
It’s funny how certain items remain special. Like this glass ornament. Each year it hangs from the chandelier. I’m not even sure if anyone notices it but it makes me happy 🙂
A simple strand of white lights are casually swagged over the window with crocheted snowflakes interspersed creating a light and bright wintry look.
The kitchen window at night glows soft and warm.
A monochrome vignette in silver and gray on our very old yet much loved cabinet that once belonged to a neighbor when she was a child. The tiny nativity was a gift from a Sunday School teacher to our daughter when she was just 3 years old. The canvas was gifted to me during a visit with a blogger turned friend. The little tree is another oldie, special because it reminds me of my parents glittery silver tree of my childhood.
The Living Room
A pop of color and a little light makes a strong impression. Instead of more, I used a large red poinsettia and a few household items to fill the living room with cheer. The large red poinsettia is from our local market for just $7.00 and once again, I casually draped a strand of lights across the top of the bookshelves.
Candles, a pretty cake stand and a framed print finishes the coffee table. (Print available in our Holiday Baking Bundle)
After the holidays
If you are feeling the pinch of an abundance of seasonal accessories, you might want to work on parting with some of it. This is best done when the holidays are over and you are not feeling rushed to get your home ready.
Many items will hold a place in your heart and those are the ones to keep. Ask your kids to take what they want and then look for ways to lighten your collection and simplify your storage and your life.
Donate the rest to the Vietnam Veterans of America or other places.
When packing away the holiday decorations you plan on keeping, start by sorting into similar items.
If you can, purchase a supply of matching storage bins. Ones that are see through are helpful but just be sure the containers have lids that latch well.
Keeping the containers all the same size is a good idea as they will stack well and will make your storage space feel more organized and less cluttered.
List the contents of the container on a label with a black permanent marker and attach. I like to place two labels on each container; one on the top and one on the side so it is seen from both angles. Next year when you unpack, you’ll be grateful you downsized and organized your precious holiday decorations.
Have you begun downsizing in your home? Do you have suggestions and thoughts? Please leave your comment!
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Sangeetha Prabhu says
Hi Lorraine, your home is exquisite! I love your home tours.
Happy Holidays 🙂
You r home looks beautiful and simple. At a card party over the week end we were all talking about doing what you did. Downsize!! I think as I put things away this year I will be doing that myself. Thanks for sharing.
Your home looks lovely and festive in its simplicity. We are in the same boat. I did not put out nearly as much this year and my son has complimented me more than once on how simply it is decorated. Last year we did not get out our old tree but bought a prelit pencil tree. The grands were aghast, but survived. This year we put up the big tree, but I’m not sure how much longer. But we are enjoying the pencil tree in our den. So many of our Christmas things carry the weight of special memories and people in our lives. I’m sure you know about the tiny battery string lights–they may work for your china cabinets. The ones I got at WM turn off and on at certain times, which is nice for Christmas. And they last quite a long time.
I love the simple beauty of your home! Last year we lugged eleven bins down from the attic – for the last time. We did a major downsize then and haven’t regretted it at all. I did sell my big Christmas village but many of the things went to the Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store nearby where the funds ALL go to help people get on their feet from addictions. And, in the process, they are introduced to the One Who is the real meaning of Christmas. Keeping our decorations in just a few boxes on a shelf in the garage was wonderful! But I must confess that I added a few more lights this year and a green swag to put on top of the kitchen cabinets. It all have a place to go when the holidays are over. Have a wonderful celebration of our Savior’s birth, dear friend.
Barbara F. says
Lorraine, your home is just perfection. I love everything. So beautiful.
We have not yet downsized our Christmas decorating . . . but the time is coming! I am actually looking forward to having a table top tree. I saw a photo in Country Living magazine several years ago that gave me a vision for a table top display and I have filed that idea away in my mind for after the girls are no longer living here.
You certainly have not compromised beauty in your desire to downsize! Your home looks wonderfully festive and elegant! (More room, and less to put away are big pluses too!)
Ann Thompson says
Your home looks beautiful. I can relate to wanting to downsize. The past several years I’ve slowly worked on doing less.
Lorraine, your house looks beautiful. Bob and I were thinking the same this year as we lugged everything out and up. Your pictures have given me some great ideas as we also look into simplifying our lives
I love the way you decorated this year, Lorraine, and we, too have culled through our Christmas decorations to decorate our downsized home. I have used mostly fresh greens, pinecones and candles with a few old favorites. The one thing I still cling to are a few of the handmade ornaments from our daughters and grandkids. But I think next year I will decorate our tree differently and tuck them away. We had to get a much smaller tree, too, and we put it in a basket. You are right, it is all so much easier to put upand take down it all!