If there is one thing that has changed in the past few years, it is our style of decorating for the holiday season. In years past, Gerry and I (Shannon) had Christmas cocktail parties each year, decorating the entire house in everything that screamed, Christmas. We had a tree in every room (including the bathrooms), and not an inch of space was empty, without green, red, or multicolor festive knick-knacks, somehow thinking that all that stuff made the holidays more authentic. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate lights, cutesie Christmas elves, snowmen, Santa and Mrs. Claus, but we realized a couple of years ago that all of that stuff didn’t make the holidays more special. For us, it just made for more work, not to mention a giant December electric bill.
Nowadays, our minimalist lifestyle seems more efficient, makes things more simple, and enables us to concentrate on what is most important about the holiday season: our faith, family, and reflecting on Christmases past, with fondness, and missing those who are no longer here to celebrate with us.
We talk about how minimalism enables us to not just have less stuff, but to have items that bring us joy, and mean a great deal to us. This trickles into our holiday décor. Fortunately, our holiday décor all fits inside of one storage container, rather than an entire attic full of bins, like we had in holidays past. Gerry is especially fond of that change! 😉 The biggest change that I have noticed, is that when we pull out items from our bin, to start decorating, we are able to hold and reflect on what the pieces mean.
Our décor consists of:
- Our tiny little Christmas tree was given to us by my mom. It is small and sits inside of a wooden crate. We placed a strand of white lights inside of the crate, so that we can have that gleaming light that only a Christmas tree exudes. It sits in the middle of our dining table, which is also in front of two windows, so it is seen from the outside as well.
- The wreath on our door was also given to us by my mom. She makes custom wreaths, and knows our simplistic lifestyle isn’t like most of her clients, but she seemed to make the wreath festive, and simple, exactly the way we want.
- We have two authentic German nutcrackers on display, which were gifts from Gerry’s parents. They purchased them years ago on a trip to Germany. Since Gerry’s family is of German origin, it has even more sentimental value.
- Our holiday lights that string around our front porch are the giant retro, multicolor bulbs. Thought we purchased them in more recent years, they are a bright reminder of both of our childhoods. I call them our “Papa lights” because I fondly recall my Papa having those lights put up around his roof, trees, and anything that stood still in his yard. Seeing them lit in the evenings, gives me that warm feeling that I used to have, when we would arrive to my grandparents house, seeing those colored lights- sometimes with crackled colored paint chips coming off of them, as they had been used for many Christmases.
Interestingly enough, I couldn’t tell you any stories about any of the things we used to have that loaded our home with Christmas in the past. I know that these items were a part of it, but they seemed to be overloaded, and overwhelmed by all the other stuff. With simple, and sentimental Christmas décor, and our minimalist lifestyle, it is easier to reflect on those memories, as they are not deafened by tons of other things that do not have any sentimental meaning.
We wish you and your family, hope, joy, peace and love this holiday season, no matter what way you prefer to decorate.