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. Seriously. 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.
Aileen @ Aileen Cooks
I love this! We are planning on trying to get most of our decorating on Black Friday. I’m definitely going to keep your schedule in mind. I also like the idea of giving your kids a tree to decorate with their homemade ornaments throughout the month. Great idea!
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
This is interesting because just yesterday I was reading about how Tsh from Art of Simple takes her time decorating to decrease overwhelm. I’m not sure which route I’m going to take this year yet. Typically, I do it all in one afternoon, with the exception of the tree because we buy a fresh one every year. I don’t decorate too much. Mostly our mantle gets a Christmas facelift, and a few decorations go up in other areas too. My kids’ rooms get a small tree and I hang colored lights in my boys’ room. I have been looking forward to this day for a month, but have not decided exactly when I’ll decorate this year. I doubt I’ll hold off much longer 😉
I do something very similar. We don’t do a lot of decorating, but I do try to complete the task in one day. We go to a Christmas tree farm in the morning to select our tree and chop it down. In the afternoon we decorate it, decorate the rest of the house, and watch a Christmas movie while we address and stamp our Christmas cards. All finished in one day! We typically use the Saturday after Thanksgiving to do our decorating.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and very helpful tips Sarah.
Two years ago, i used the right after Christmas sales to purchase a very cheap pre-lit tree. Best $20 I have ever spent. I too hate putting lights on the tree. It definitely lowered my stress level.
I do most of my decorating in one day. I prefer to have a little break between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I put away the fall decorations a couple of days after Thanksgiving, and then a week later my husband brings all the Christmas totes down from the attic. While he and my son go cut down the Christmas tree, I do as much decorating as I can. By the time they get home, a lot of it is done. Then they work getting the tree set up in the stand with water, putting the lights on, and stringing the lights and garland on the porch. By the end of the day mostly everything is done, and then we wait and trim the tree Sunday night (to give it time to settle before we put the ornaments on it). I actually would prefer to do the decorating a little at a time, but because we store all the decorations in the attic, they are inaccessible to me. And when my husband brings down all the totes, it is better to put out all the decorations so we can get the totes emptied, stacked and put away. The one thing I put out earlier is a magnetic advent wreath that goes on our fridge. That goes up the first Sunday of Advent, and I store it in a place where I can access it easily.
HI Erin, this is a doable plan, especially helpful for young moms or wives. Last year when my husband brought in 5 tubs (FIVE! Not including ornaments) I knew the decor had gone way to far. At this stage of life with my girls almost grown, I am just desiring simplicity a bit more. I tried to cut back last year, but am determined this year to do so even more. Every shelf, room etc doesn’t need decor. Whew, I think I already feel better letting myself off the hook there 🙂 Have a blessed holiday
I’m almost scared to admit this, but this year our kids don’t really have an official math curriculum. They are young-grade 5, grade 2, and K. We use technology, some worksheets, Life of Fred, a lot of manipulative, games, and a whole lot of real life. It has been going really well. And by the way, I am 100% sure that my oldest two hate math-they have told me a lot.JACK
My favourite thing about Easter is all the baking and of course, the chocolate. That wreath is divine! I am so tempted to do an Easter tree but seeing as I put the Christmas tree up twice a year, I think I might be pushing my luck in the tree department!lisa
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