Here Comes Santa Clause

And the craziness of the holidays.

by Amanda LeBlanc


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Well, it should be, but for many, it’s a time of stressing about company coming to town and spending more money than we should to find that perfect gift. You rarely hear people talking about what a peaceful time they had over the holidays. The truth is if you plan it right and get your ducks or wreaths in a row (hehe), it can be a season full of wonderful memories for you and your family.

So here are a few tips to make things a little easier as you are decorating your home:


1. Phase in the decorations.

Trying to get all of your Christmas decorations up in one weekend is too much for anyone! I recommend starting early in November, placing lights in the yard. You don’t have to turn them on until after Thanksgiving, but it gets checked off the list early. I also have clients who start with minimally-decorated garland and wreaths that we place outside and in the home the week of Thanksgiving that add a festive touch to the week and make getting ready for Christmas that much easier.


2. Make decorating a family affair.

When I was a child, we had a family tradition of putting up the tree and decorating it as a family right after Thanksgiving dinner. It made an amazing memory for my childhood, and I think my mom did it because my dad couldn’t yell in front of us about the burnt-out, tangled lights. HA!


3. Remember less is more.

It doesn’t have to look like a bunch of elves threw up Christmas in your home to be festive! Some of the most beautiful homes I have seen during the holidays have been minimal but purposeful in their decorating. Remember it’s quality over quantity.


4. Purge your way through the holidays.

As you are pulling decorations out to get ready for the holidays, this is a great time to go through decorations and throw out broken items and donate others that you are not going to use. Churches, schools, and other donation spots are thrilled to get these items from you.


5. Pack away with next year in mind.

This is the most important tip to take away! If you want next year to be different, then take the time to purge a second time after the season is over. Once you know what you have and what you want to keep, make sure you have the right bins to store decorations properly and ensure they will be in good shape to use again next year. Each bin should be labeled. I do not recommend labeling with a Sharpie, because then if you need to change the label or use it for something else, you will have a different label on the side. I recommend printing labels on paper, cutting them out and adhering them to bins by covering them with clear packing tape. This will help ensure the label stays on when the heat of summer strikes your storage. Lastly, place the items in the attic in the order you will take them out and set them up. This will be a huge time saver for the future!


Let’s remember what the true meaning of the holidays. A recent poll was taken of children ages 8–12. They were asked about their favorite part of the holidays and were given three choices: a) decorations; b) spending time with family; or c) presents. The overwhelming majority said b) spending time with family. Please remember that this season, and have happy holidays!

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