Holiday Decorations

marylizNovember 11, 2008

So, being that we are heavily "into" decluttering, how many of us have beloved heirloom holiday decorations that are NOT considered clutter?

Which holidays? (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc.)

Which types of items? (Table centerpieces, tree ornaments, fancy towels for powder room?)

How / where do you store them? (Describe your special ornament boxes, etc. Or do you use any cardboard box that is the right size? Are you lucky enough to have a storage room, or do you store decorations under beds?)

How / where do you display them? (Rotate display on mantel, convert dining room into massive Christmas display, etc.)

I'd just like to know about your family traditions, and your beloved collections. Some stuff is worth keeping. :-) I have some Christmas stuff handed down to me, and it's time to either use it and enjoy it, or pass it on through Freecycle.

MaryLiz in Michigan

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I do!

Valentine's Day. Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas

All types of stuff.... too much to list.

Storage is in labeled Rubbermaid bins. They live in the laundry area. My trick for Christmas things is to store by room... much easier come decorating time!

Display depends on the holiday. For Christmas the entire first floor is transformed.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 5:04PM
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I have tons of Christmas decorations that I store in my garage in rubbermaid totes. I don't have much clutter but I have a hard time getting rid of that stuff. I did get rid of quite a bit last year but then ended up buying more.

I don't have to much of other holdiday stuff. I keep them in totes in the garage also. I don't have a basement and am afraid of heights so don't put anything up there.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 7:47PM
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I have found myself a real sucker for magazines promoting changing holiday decor --I love it, and always think I am more creative than I am, because my mom and dad were very creative and crafty, but still am just addicted to the "seasonal change in decor" ideas. It has turned out to be a real time-sucking drain as well as space-occupying issue, and I've realized it is okay to drool, but I need not react as much.

I kind of got into a simpler pattern twice a year changing some of my decor, with springy-summery pillowcovers and throws and tablecloths, changing to deep reds and greens around this time of year. From a clutter standpoint, I am trying to change to pillow COVERS ( since several stores, such as Target, now have many more of their throw pillows with zipper covers and better quality down pillows; Pottery Barn also offers a lot)--I don't want to store the pillows themselves. It is more expensive to buy these or to have custom-made (if you don't sew), but better in the long run than lots of cheaper poly-fill throw pillows. All of this is still a real or potential time-drain as it takes a surprising amount of time to shift even those few items around, plus the storage.

Also I try to have several vases or containers which remain the same, but into which I place seasonal things from the yard and the occasional grocery-store flower purchase in seasonal colors.

Am big on multi-holiday decorating --"fall-winter" with a few twists for the actual holiday. I buy one or 2 pumpkins, usually as early as possible, that fit on table tops, because they last months and say fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving. Christmas is still my main focus for a real "holiday" and I do still have a number of special items that are family traditions-- but I really can't handle special decor for Easter, Valentine's, July 4. Easter I console myself with the fact that I do more in church and choir that time of year instead of putting up an egg tree, or whatever!

I've moved into more of a garden-nature decorating style and try to use that to keep things simpler--mix a few red ornaments in a wooden bowl with pine cones, cut greenery from the yard, and not so much commercial holiday-specific items.

If I had a true walk-up, stand-up attic I think I would go way more overboard, because things could be easily seen and accessed--I would devekop the typical estate-sale attic room nightmare (for the owners) full of massive amounts of things, because it would be so easy to stuff things there. But, I found I was having trouble getting up the energy to pull stuff out of our existing attics, even with the plastic bins, or forgetting what was stored where, and would put off using stuff that I have.

Poinsettias are a winter weakness for me but provide a lot of bang for buck. In my current home, the light conditions allow the poinsettias to remain in good condition for about 3 months--with the different colors available and low costs, I can create several very nice groupings, for different rooms, that provide a cheery display for a long time. Still, some years I find it is a pain to find the ones I want--perhaps the store I bought them at last year doesn't have as good ones, or they've raised the price. So that can be a worse time drain than having something up in the attic that you can pull down and know it's there.

Still searching for the right balance--so that I enjoy a bit of time "tinkering" with my decor, but try to keep from having to spend precious days off doing nothing but "churning" through stuff and feeling like I just went in circles that had no value.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:25AM
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Halloween is our "big holiday" - and we have massive amounts of decor that transform both the house (basement and main floor) as well as the front lawn into a Halloween fantasy land. Luckily, we also have a decent sized storage room in the basement where all the totes and boxes go. We happen to be in the midst of reorganizing it right now, and bought a labeler to get all the totes labeled and stored in an organized, logical manner.

I have three boxes of fall/Thanksgiving decor...that stuff is on display now on the main floor. I also have about 4 boxes of Christmas decor that is split between the main floor and basement (not much in basement), our tree and ornaments, and some simple lawn decorations. Ornaments are in an ornament box, lights are in a light keeper, and wreaths are in a wreath bag. Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff is also stored in our storage room.

I just have small amounts of seasonal decor for the rest of the year - and those all fit on one shelf in my hall closet upstairs. Just enough to change out the basket by my front door, and maybe set a few things out upstairs (centerpiece for the dining room table, and mantle decorations for the fireplace. I'd like to reorganize that shelf so that separate holidays are in thier own boxes, just haven't gotten to it yet.

I decorate for Christmas about a week after Thanksgiving. This year I'm planning to go through all ornaments and such, and get rid of anything I don't love anymore. I just did the same for Thanksgiving when I was decorating last week. I'll need to do Halloween next year.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 1:12PM
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Most of my decorations are Christmas decorations. The Rubbermaid Bins are fabulous and I added a twist a few years ago. I bought 2 (inexpensive) twin bed egg carton looking foam pads and cut them to fit one on top of the other in the Bins. Just lay tissue on them and start putting my ornaments on there, then layer with tissue and another egg carton foam sheet.(Kind of like lasagna) The tissue keeps the 1920's ornaments from touching the foam and they all stay nested for the year. Then I put them in the attic.

Now if you want to hear a weird friend cut a small vent in her ceiling and walled in that part of her attic so her decorations didn't get blistering hot in the summer. Now THAT is caring for your decorations!!!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 7:40PM
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I like that tip about the bed egg carton to protect ornaments. Then I wouldn't have to buy the ones with the dividers.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:34PM
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I don't really decorate for anything but fall and Christmas.

I have a large orange bin where I store the light up Halloween pumpkins (they start out backwards, then I turn them so the face is pointing out, then after Halloween I turn them back so the plain side is showing again)

For Christmas, I think I'll pare down again this year to just the easy and the basics. Kids nativity sets (have to have 2 you know) unbreakable ornaments on the tree, wreaths to just hang up and not fuss with. I think my pre-lit garland from last year was burned out at spots so I'll wind it a few new strands of those LED lights.

I store things in the basement in their rubbermade bins. That's our go-to storage area. It's easy to find which is which, green bins are Christmas, orange one is pumpkins.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 4:31AM
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We should ask the question...who does not own rubber maid totes? heh heh

My chrismas collection is huge. And I'm so excited to read about the idea to store by room! This year I'll put away that way...what a great idea!

I have a dozen totes specifically for Christmas, and really, aside from my outdoor display I don't decorate much for any other holiday. My outdoor display changes with the season, just a couple of times a year though. I decorate in autumn colors and then just add ivory pointsettias (fake...they'd die in our temperatures) and fur bows to Christmas it up. In the summer it's fresh herbs in pots (same pots are use for the holidays).

We moved into the house this year after two years of remodeling. When I started this, I wanted a better place to store the holiday totes because I am very particular to the temperatures they're stored in (I have a huge Christopher Radko investment and don't want them damaged). So in our bedroom, we built a cupboard inside the bay window with an onyx counter top. It has large doors and if used pretty much as our headboard, but once a year I'll pull it open and pull out the holiday stuff. The bed is also a storage place, because it's hollow in the center, so several bins will go in there.

I think a mix of the old and new is appropriate for the holidays. I have my grandmothers stocking, which hangs with pride with the new stockings I made the family. I have several of her ornaments, which look lovely displayed in glass jars. And then we have the Radko, which all go on the tree (I lost count at 300) so we have a pretty sparkley holiday :)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:18PM
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