Simplifying our Christmas decorations has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of minimizing for me. As I have gone through our décor each year for the past three years, I have found what I choose to keep is less each year, but has become more meaningful. I have also chosen to switch out some of our décor for more natural, child friendly and smaller décor. Below are some ideas to help you simplify your Christmas decoration while still maintaining the spirit of the holidays.
Touch friendly Christmas tree ornaments. The second year of living simply, I realized that every holiday season I would spend way too much time getting after my kids for touching ornaments, inevitably breaking a few, and spreading bits of glittery garland and tree snow all over the house. I made the decision to get rid of all our Christmas tree ornaments that were breakable, and make a ‘touchable’ Christmas tree. We replaced the delicate, glittery garland with cranberry wooden garland. We replaced our shiny, glass ball ornaments with wooden snowflakes and hand sewn (by yours truly) birds and metal bells. We also decorate the tree with real scented pinecones each year. We all love the tree and my husband and I love the fact that our children can enjoy the tree even more by holding ornaments, rearranging them and being more involved with the decorating.
Year-Round Door Wreath. I love the wreaths that are hanging on almost every door here in the South. The issue for me is that I did not want to store a large door wreath for every season. As I thought about this, I decided to purchase a plain burlap wreath, and keep a small bin of seasonal décor with clips. You can find clips at your local craft store, or if you don’t want to pay full price, after each holiday, you can find quite a few ornamental clips on sale that can be used to decorate the wreath the coming year.
Decorations that can be recycled. We have begun purchasing live trees from local Christmas tree farms and real scented pinecones during the Christmas season. You can also purchase real fir tree garland from your local home improvement store to hang on the mantle and provide a fresh, Christmas scent in your home. These decorations are disposable and many cities have programs where they will use the materials to create new filler for public parks and pathways. Another natural decoration during the holiday season is a nice, warm fire. We buy fire starter logs made from recycled materials and enjoy the crackling and warmth.
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. -Burton Hillis