Christmas preparations…

We bought our first house about 9 years ago. I was so excited to decorate for Christmas that year. We went to buy a big fake tree (allergies) and decorated the heck out of it. That year we had very few actual decorations, but have slowly added new things every year.

Flash forward to the last 3-4 years. We have around six big tubs of inside Christmas decorations along with many, many boxes of other items. The last few years I have started getting very overwhelmed at Thanksgiving just thinking of having to decorate for Christmas. It was a big job that was done only by me. And of course, right after Christmas, I had the pleasure of putting it all away. By myself…

Last year the kids helped a little more with decorating the tree, however, they lost interest after about 20 minutes and I was on my own once again.

As I began to put everything away last year I decided it was time for a little organizing. Previously I had just filled boxes and tubs with whatever was close by and I never knew where anything was as I was bringing everything back out the next year. So last year I sorted everything BEFORE I packed it up. I even went so far as to label the tubs. I now have two tubs of ornaments, one tub of toys, one tub of lights and blankets, a tub of movies and books, and several tubs of shelf decorations…

Even with my newly organized system I was finding myself experiencing that all-too-familiar anxiety over Thanksgiving break when the kids began begging to put up the tree. I was just not ready.

However, I agreed to put JUST the tree up over break. No decorations, just a plain old tree 🙂

I was nervous about the dogs, anyway, so in my defense it did make sense to make sure they weren’t going to attack and eat the tree before we actually took the time to decorate it…..

The kids actually helped me put the tree up without losing interest. This made me so happy (and the tree looked so sad) that I did cave a little and agree to put lights on it that same night.

I then had an epiphany. If their attention span is only 20 minutes, why spend more time than that decorating? There are 25 more days until Christmas—what’s the big hurry anyway? I informed the kids I was willing to bring up one tub per day.

This has worked wonders!!! They hung the two tubs of ornaments almost entirely themselves! I would unwrap and they would hang. Then a few days went by when we didn’t have time to do any boxes and it was ok. We still have lots of time!!! Today I brought out our first ‘shelf’ box and they were so excited. We found our stockings, some snow globes and snowmen, and candles. We have had time to talk about where each thing came from, to remember what was given as gifts, and by whom. We have had time to talk about where we should put things. I always put the box back in the basement as soon as we are done, so I have not had any sort of mess to clean up.

I am definitely a fan of this new system and will use it from here on out. The kids are SO much more excited. Every day they ask if we are going to open a new box tonight. Every time we do they give it their full attention and we do it as a family. It makes every decoration have so much more meaning.

I wonder if I can put things away in the same manner???

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