December 31, 2015

Cheating Safely Saves My Christmas

Christmas was stressful because a stroke took away my ability to push through my fatigue.  Unfortunately I have accumulated two large boxes of Christmas decorations over the years.  I was exhausted after putting up all my decorations.  So instead of packing and repacking to get every item back in my crowded boxes, I set aside nice items that I no longer feel an attachment to for my church's spring sale.  I raised money for charity and send nice decorations to families that I hope will love them.  
I kept items: 1) that are handmade like Santa made from a mop, 2) that remind me of a happy memory like sledding with my brothers or 3) can be arranged in a tableau like the reindeer (photo below). 
Stroke survivors are not the only people who need to let go.  A workshop at my church was called "Simplify the Holidays."  The flyer said "Do you find the holidays are filled with shoulds and to-do lists?  Are you struggling with maintaining old traditions that no longer have meaning in your family life?"  The choices I make can make holiday more enjoyable.    


  1. I no longer put up Christmas and yet I have nine boxes of holiday decorations.Most are memories of Christmas past...things my children made, ornaments from my grandparents etc. While for the past three years I haven't even pulled them from their boxes, I still hang on to them. They really won't be worth much except my grandparent's ornaments which are hand-blown glass and hand painted.

    Eventually when my children buy a home it will all go to them. Until then, they have a space in my attic. I've got so much stuff wanting on's honestly ridiculous. I've honestly just simplified my holidays. Instead of dragging it all out yo put it up after the holidays is just too much for me and my husband to do each and every holiday not just Christmas. It's a lot less stressful.

    Now if my children or grandchildren want to do it they can with the understanding that two days after a given holiday they come over and take it all down.

  2. I'm simplifying with a smaller tree this year. If I like it, I may never go back to a big one. Also - decorations limited to one room -- not all over the house.

  3. I am a Christmas fanatic! I even belong to a Christmas e list and have gone on trips to meet up with my Christmas Crazy friends. You don't want to see my storage wall of stuff. Cutting back is so hard! Every year I have been thinking next year I can do more and put up more... and I really can do a bit more, but never as much as I think I can.

    Some things have shifted in how my other family members help or what they agree we should let go so that is helpful.

    I am glad you found a way to keep the things that really matter to you and helping charities in the process.