Updated: Oct 22, 2022
December 3, 2021
If you saw me decorating for Christmas when I first got married, you would have laughed! I had an enormous amount of decorations, and in my thinking, I had to use every Christmas item in our small, two-bedroom duplex. Decorating for Christmas was an intense affair, one that required undivided attention for at least a solid day (mind you, I had no kids then, so that was a lot of time!). Adult life and children have streamlined my expectations and taught me to focus on what is truly valuable, but yet I actually enjoy how I decorate better now.
For the busy, overworked mama who can hardly keep the kitchen floor swept, the thought of decorating for Christmas can be enough to make her want to cry. Yet I believe a few little tips can help even the most tired mama bring a little Christmas coziness into her home without enormous stress.
First, do not spend too much time looking at social media.
This may seem paradoxical since I am writing about decorating on a blog, but my advice would be to spend a little time looking to get your creative juices flowing, but then have fun decorating your space in your own style. Many times I have trapped myself by spending so much time looking at other’s homes that I felt defeated and unmotivated to work on my own home. I then started coveting what others had and felt sorry for myself about what I did not have.
I have learned that I can get a lot of decorating done in the same amount of time spent looking at other people’s homes! Take the time you spend looking at pictures, and transform that time into investing in your own home. True contentment is found in being thankful for what you have and enjoying what God has given you.
Second, have a plan in your mind before you set out to decorate.
Usually, I pull out all of my décor and start setting things up as I go, but this year was different. For once I actually thought through the look I wanted to achieve, and having a plan already in my mind streamlined the amount of time it took to decorate and the amount of boxes that made their way down the attic ladder. This year I wanted a very simple farmhouse look with fresh greenery, old baskets, chippy white pitchers, and red “china” dishes (the ones with the scenes from the orient—I cannot remember what they are called. I bought them years ago at a grocery store for a steal.)
Third, you do not have to use every single Christmas decoration that you own.
I chuckle at the memories of my first Christmases as a new bride, happy as can be finding spaces for all my collected treasures. It was as if I was wading in a sea of Christmas décor, and the floor was not visible for the waves of yuletide treasures spread out. Over the years, I have significantly pared down my decorations and now can fit everything into about 2-3 tubs which is a happy medium for me. A minimalist would not be impressed, but a die-hard decorator would think me a scrooge. Maybe it is time to purge a few of those items that have sat for years. If you continually pass up a certain piece year after year, consider giving it to a thrift store so another person can have the joy of using the item.
Fourth, let your children help you.
This is hard, especially when you want everything to be just right. I remember being told by older loved ones that I could not help decorate for the holidays, and this made me sad. My grandmother had her own way of setting up her artificial tree, and yet I longed to help her. What a sweet memory we could have made together decorating for Christmas. She has since passed on to heaven, and I loved her no matter what her preferences were about decorating. Please know I have meant no disrespect but rather am reminding myself that creating memories with children is more important than perfection. For example, my daughter helped me put ornaments on our tree, and then when she was not looking, I rearranged them to suit my eye. She had no idea about the ornament rearrangement but still had the joy of helping me.
Fifth, focus on the true meaning of Christmas and the family memories surrounding the celebration of Christ’s birth.
Decorating for Christmas is special to many and almost sacred to some, and while decorating is enjoyable (well, most of the time!), it is not the true reason for the season. This momma’s heart gets easily distracted as I intently work on decorating, and often my attitude follows my heart down a wrong path when I get my focus in the wrong place. My attitude in my home is far more important than beautiful decorations.
In the Ladies’ Bible Study at my church, we are studying the right attitudes a wife and mother should have in her home. The right attitude in the home sets the entire mood and feeling of a home. An angry woman is never pleasant to be around, and Proverbs 21:19 says, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” It is easy to get upset and even angry when I have a goal in mind and my desires are not being accomplished.
What is the point of decorating for Christmas? For me personally, I want to create a warm environment for my family that helps us remember the love of our Saviour. If I am fussy and short with my children about decorating, I am certainly not achieving my goal of family unity. Having the right attitude about decorating for Christmas creates a welcoming environment that pulls my children into family time. A harsh attitude from momma will make everyone want to “run for cover” to their respective corners.
I hope that your Christmas decorating is relaxed and peaceful!