Growing up, my whole family put up Christmas decorations together, but no one was more excited about it than me. Whatever they did, I’d take it one step further. I’d hop on a ladder and add extra outdoor lights when no one else wanted to do it. I’d take unused ornaments and decor and spend hours decorating my room and the hallway. I absolutely loved it.
Unfortunately, in my house, we had a rule: Whatever you put up, you take down. Since my family took down Christmas on New Years Day, I was always sleep-deprived, sugar-crashed and more than a little cranky. It never occurred to me as a kid that maybe I should put up less stuff to make New Years easier.
Even though I’ve radically simplified my Christmas habits as an adult, I still find myself feeling sad as I look into the soul-sucking, sugar-less abyss that is the month of January. To bring joy back into my home post-Christmas, I’ve made a few practical changes to the way I put away Christmas.
5 Helpful Practices When Taking Down Christmas
1. Don’t wait too long.
First thing’s first: I’ve recently moved “Christmas take down day” back a few days– and it’s so much better! I’m usually still in a good mood right after Christmas, so I do it then! This has allowed me to feel ready for New Years Day when it arrives.
2. Be strategic with what you do first.
The best way to put away Christmas is — all at once, as quickly as possible. However, in order to do this, you must think before you start. Do you have Christmas hand towels to wash? Do the peppermint stick coffee cups need to go through the dishwasher? If so, do these things first, since they take time. While they wash, do the rest of the work. If you do it the other way around, the Christmas take-down season will linger for days. Trust me!
3. Eliminate unused items– immediately.
I love, love, love cleaning out things that are unused in my house. It gives me such a fresh, clean, clutter-free feeling. When it comes to Christmas decor though, it can be a bit tricky. Christmas items are nostalgic. However, look at anything that “didn’t make the cut” to be put up this year. Why didn’t this item get used? Is that likely that will change next year? If not, get rid of it, close up the box and be done with it. It will feel so good.
4. Use cleaning time to reflect on your family.
Sometimes part of the sadness that comes with putting away Christmas is leaving behind the holiday and all it represents to you and your family. Use the time putting away each item to practice thankfulness for every gift, person and grace in your life. Let it be a time of reflection, not stress.
5. Replace Christmas decor with something fresh & new.
It’s strange how empty the house can feel when Christmas decor has been put away. Consider buying a plant or a candle– something that will spark joy and newness to your home for the coming new year!
Taking down Christmas will look different in every home, but the key is to minimize the stress, decrease the clutter and up the joy factor. Happy cleaning and cheers to the new year ahead! 🙂
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Also, here’s a Sneak Peak for January 🙂