Millennium Mom

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Decor

It's that time of year again...time to decorate for the holidays for most of us. If you are non-Christian, it is certainly easier and less involved for sure, but if you are Christian let the fun begin. The easiest way to make it "less of a pain" (sorry - but I just couldn't say fun) is twofold - being organized and "fake".

First, go to your local Target, WalMart, Sears, Sam's Club, Costco, etc and get some good storage bins. Not too big, as then stuff can break and you have to be real careful about what goes on the bottom, etc. I buy all mine at Sam's club, I think they are 3 for $10. Once you have your bins the key is to label them for each "area" of your home. Some examples might be front steps, family room mantel, living room mantel, front door, garage, tree and so on. For stuff that can not fit into the bins, which for us is our 3 feet trees that line our walkway, get heavy duty garbage bags.

It is amazing how much smoother the decorating goes when you have your stuff organized. We came home a day earlier from our family visit this year (and thank god as it was 50 degrees vs. raining and 25 degrees today). My husband and I partnered in bringing the gear out, which for us is about 10 bins, some random boxes and 8 garbage bags. About 10 minutes later everything was upstairs and the work began.

We decided to head outside first to take advantage of the daylight and weather. Of course I got the cords wrong, no matter how many times my husband said male parts to the left, someone I got it the wrong way. But even with that, about an hour later everything was up as we had laid out the bins and bags in the right placed and simply had to plug it all in. I think my extra prayers worked again this year with the weather, as my Jewish husband was a true partner going up the latter to hang our large wreath and working the painful staple gun.

The other key component of making things simple is "fake." I have "fake" wreaths for every window, fake trees to line our walkway, fake greens/garland for the mantels and stairways. The only thing real in our house is our tree, and I think this may be our last year. There are many reasons for doing this. The first is cost. Real greens and wreaths are really expensive, for our house we would easily spend $500 at least each year. Instead the year before we were moving back to the states from Belgium, Joanne's fabric had them on clearance after Christmas while I was visiting my parents in NY. I bought 20 wreaths and a ton of greens/garland. My parents drove them out to me on their first visit...maybe I spent $150 total and that was 6 years ago. Today I even found gorgeous fake poinsettias at Sam's club for $30, the real ones were $20, less than 2 years and it will pay out.

So, to bring in the holiday cheer sooner, and not be depressed by the decorating, pray for good weather and get organized. Putting away and putting up become so much easier, so easy in that even your Jewish partner/spouse doesn't mind all that much :)


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