To Decorate Or Not To Decorate…..That Is The Question

It seems each year I decorate less and less for each holiday. I use to have Rubbermaid tubs filled with various holiday decorations…..all neatly organized. I would grab the ones labeled for each holiday and put all the decorations in the proper place.  The nativity scene always goes on this table. The tree always goes in that corner. The Valentines hearts would go on my kitchen counter. You get the idea. For Easter one year the Easter Bunny had to use Tupperware bowls for the candy…..oh the horror. My beautiful Longaberger Easter baskets were tucked neatly in their bin under the steps hoping to see the light the following year.

Each year for Halloween I would buy pumpkins for each of my boys to carve {my middle son is traumatized for some reason with pumpkin guts so this has never been a “fun” family tradition.} This year I bought one very large pumpkin for my front steps…..maybe it will be carved and  maybe it won’t be carved….either way, I am ok. But I do know my middle son will be nowhere near the carving when it happens!

This year I was inspired by one of my favorite organizers Geralin Thomas when she instagramed a photo of a bowl full of Halloween candy and said she was all done decorating. That is pretty much how I feel too. Get some candy, and call it good. One trip to Hornbachers; our local grocery store {shout out to their customer service on 32nd Ave}, and my Halloween decorating was done!

If you need to take some baby steps on weaning your way off “Holiday Decorationitis” here are a few steps to keep in mind:

1. Have limited “must haves” for the holiday. For me, I “must have” a real tree. I inherited this tradition from my parents. We always had a real tree growing up. My husband faithfully waters it twice a day, climbing under the tree to check the water level. My parents now do an artificial tree and they get their real tree fix at my house. Someday my kids will do a real tree and I can go visit them and not have to water mine every day….by that I mean my hubby won’t have to water it every day!

2. Put unused decorations in a marked tote. Tell yourself that if you don’t open that tote for the next holiday….you are going to donate the entire tote without opening. I know this is a hard challenge, but you need to figure out a way to keep what you use separated from what you don’t use, and then get rid of what you don’t use.

3. Focus on traditions that are not focused on “stuff.” Think about going to a concert every Christmas or going to see a version of the NutCracker. Or go to a haunted corn maze…granted you will never find me there….like ever….like not even dropping off a car load of kids….because I am a scardey cat!

4. Be ok with a less is more attitude. You do not need to keep up with the Jones’ and have your front porch stacked with bales of hay and corn stalks. I did it for years. I have skipped the last few years and I still love fall. Now I go and ride bike through the changing leaves or go for a drive through a park or do some apple picking and make an apple crisp {thanks to my friends and neighbors for supplying me with plenty this year!}

5. Give up on perfection. Believe me, perfectionism is never going to happen and you will just be miserable in the process. Don’t get me wrong, I love holidays….but I don’t always love the details. Once I realized I didn’t need to impress anyone…that it was me that had the idea stuck in my head of perfectionism….I let go of the holiday decorating frenzy. So I give you permission….let go and enjoy the people and the tradition and don’t get caught up in having a Pottery Barn home….because guess what….nobody “lives” in those houses!

6. Stop shopping after holiday sales. Yes, I am looking at you. The one with the cart full of stuff the day after holidays. Take advantage of sales….but buy with purpose and not just because it is on sale. If you have some holiday lights that are burned out, the after holiday sales are the best time to buy. Please don’t be that person who has a cart full of everything that is marked off at 50% off the day after and then brag to your friends what a “good deal” you scored.

This is what I know for sure….my family doesn’t care if I decorate for holidays….I was the one that cared. I wanted the magazine cover with a bowl full of artfully arranged gourds or pine cones. The older I get the more I want my house filled with memories, not a house filled with decorations that stress me out. By all means if you love holiday decorating and you are jazzed by it….decorate away. But for the other 99% of you out there….let me tell you that it is ok to put fewer decorations up and your family will still love you.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


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