Have you ever tried decorating for Christmas in one day? Here’s how one homemaker does it!
By Hilary, Contributing Writer
I love Christmas. And I love getting ready for Christmas.
I know that December is the busiest month of my family’s year, and I know that too much stress can zap my Christmas spirit quicker than you can say Ebenezer Scrooge. So I’ve found simple solutions for shopping, baking, entertaining and decorating so that I can keep my Christmas cheer.
The decorating system that works best for me is to do all of my decorating for Christmas in one day.
This one day could very well be my most tiring day in the entire year, but it’s also one of my most productive days. Here’s a peek into my day:
Day After Thanksgiving
I’m a holiday purist, and try very hard to celebrate one holiday at a time. (Because of this, it drives me crazy to see Halloween decorations in stores in the middle of August, or Christmas decorations in stores in the middle of October. Time flies quickly enough… there’s no need to rush the year along.)
I try to leave most of November for Thanksgiving. It’s good to pause, settle down between trick or treating and Christmas, get mentally prepared for our upcoming holiday busyness, and really linger over what we’re thankful for. On Thanksgiving Day, I don’t want to think about Christmas shopping and sales. I want to thank God for His blessings and enjoy the time with my family.
On the day after Thanksgiving, though, I skip the Black Friday busyness and stay at home to decorate.
Once I’m awake, I decide what’s for dinner. Do we have enough Thanksgiving leftovers for supper? Should we eat the leftovers for lunch and eat something completely different for supper? I usually throw something in the slow cooker, or plan on ordering pizza.
Once I’ve made dinner plans, I make breakfast for my children (my husband’s typically close to getting back from his early morning Black Friday shopping trip), and clean up the kitchen. I’ve tried to clean up the rest of my house on the day before Thanksgiving, in preparation for this.
Once my husband is home, he and I head to the garage attic. There, we dig out our artificial Christmas tree and struggle to get it down the ladder without one of us getting hurt.
Once it’s in the house, I assemble it and try to position it in our living room. While I’m working on the puzzle of our Christmas tree assembly, I make sure Christmas music is blaring all through the house.
It’s time for Christmas tree lights. I hate Christmas tree lights. I hate the way the strands have a way of not lighting up after I’ve checked and rechecked them. I hate the way the fake Christmas tree needles poke me and hurt my fingers when I’m wrapping the lights. I get so tired of trying to get the strings of lights to look just so. And then I’m finished and can move on.
I take a break for lunch. While my husband prefers to stay out of the way during decorating, he is a sweetheart to make lunch and take care of the dishes.
Now that the worst part of the decorating is over, let the fun begin! I head to the basement and carry up our boxes of ornaments. I love the memories that my family’s Christmas ornaments bring, and I love to tell my son and daughter all about them, in a sort of oral family history lesson as we decorate the tree.
Our Christmas tree is decorated. It looks beautiful! Now for the rest of the house. First, though, I need to take a break. So I sit on the floor and sort the rest of my decorations and try to think of where I’ll arrange them this year.
First I unwrap our nativity set and let my children place the figures on our side table in the dining room. Once we’re done with that, I hang wreaths outside.
I help my children put up tabletop Christmas trees in their bedrooms, then they start decorating. The first year my husband and I owned a home, I was so excited about Christmas that I decorated a tree in every single room. That only happened one year. Now I’m content to add a little Christmas cheer to my children’s rooms.
I dig out my Christmas towels and napkins, and throw them in our hamper to wash tomorrow. I add other decorations to our bookshelves and end tables, but don’t go over the top. At this point, I’m slowing down because I’m tired and hungry.
Time for a supper break!
After dinner, we pop in a Christmas movie for the kids to watch, and I put up a small (5 foot) artificial Christmas tree in our family room. I only put two strands of lights on this and leave it … my son and daughter will make ornaments every day until Christmas as part of Advent, and they’ll decorate the tree with these. It may look sparse tonight, but it will be full of color and creativity by December 24!
It’s time for bed. After tucking my children in, I take all the now-empty storage boxes back to the basement to wait another month. My house is decorated for Christmas!
While I may be exhausted now, tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and be so relieved that it’s all done.