SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
lynninnewmexico

A Survey: When Do You Put Up Your Christmas/Holiday Decorations??

lynninnewmexico
14 years ago

(1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December? Or, do you start even before Thanksgiving (Gasp!LOL!)?

(2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?

(3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again??

(4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing?

(5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy?

I'll go first:

1- I put my Christmas decs out starting the day or so after Thanksgiving.

2- I put most of it up with DD. She loves it and has such fun . She's my future little Martha Stewart, though, and can get very opinionated as to where things should go (LOL)!

3- Putting things up (and taking them down again) takes about three days, as we now have 14 bins of decs as well as 5 artificial trees to unpack and put up. I first need to pile everything onto my dining room table that needs to be packed away to make room for the holiday things. I then have to unpack one bin at a time, putting the decs in their places and then packing the now empty bin with some of the stuff piled on the table.

But, DH does help us put up and decorate our big family tree out in our living room. We do that as a family the Saturday night after Thanksgiving, making it a big event complete with carols playing and eggnog.

4- I pack things away starting the morning after Twelfth Night (January 6th). I do make DD take down her bedroom tree and decs, but end up putting the rest away myself over, pretty much, the next 3 days.

5- I don't really do anything special taking it all down . . . except bah-humbug to myself. That's why I'm asking you all what you do . . . I need inspiration!

I do try and focus on how fresh and nice the house will look once everything's put away, though.

Oh, and I keep telling myself how many gazillion calories I must be burning doing this ;^D

So, how about you?

Lynn

Comments (42)

  • cinlo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    (1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December? Or, do you start even before Thanksgiving (Gasp!LOL!)?

    I usually begin the day/weekend after Thanksgiving although I have put it up before Thanksgiving.

    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?

    I put up everything myself with some helpful hands of toddlers redecorating the tree ornaments. DH does help get the tubs out of the attic, and he puts up the pre-lighted tree & helps fluff it out. One year he was sick (before the pre-lit tree). I put up the tree and wound the lights on it. He had the worst time trying to get them off! That will teach him! Ha!
    DH was also very good about creating a heightened table area for my North Pole Village before the kiddos. But I did all the placing and arranging of the village.

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again??

    I try to get it done over the Thanksgiving weekend.

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing?

    I do everything except packing away the tree itself. DH does that, and he puts the tubs back in the attic!

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy?

    Not really! My motivation is that DS's birthday is Dec. 31, so I remove all traces of Christmas to get ready for birthday, usually by Dec. 27!

  • excessfroufrou
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I start the inside decs the day after Thanksgiving, since we have Thanksgiving at our house. In the past I have put up some outdoor before Thanksgiving, as I hate to get stuck in the cold doing it. I do everything myself, expect DH helps bring in the big artifical tree from the storage building and he catches the boxes I dig out of the attic. I modified my outdoor decs a few years back so that he wouldn't have to get on the roof. He also provides lots of encouragement(a toddie?) and cheer. It takes me at least 3 solid days to put up and take down, sometimes my Thanksgiving guest are here through the weekend and it takes me even longer. I would rather do it by myself, since I'm a picky tweaker. I envy people that let the kids or friends help, I'd rather have a party when it's all done. I start taking mine down on New Year's Day and usually finish the weekend after. It is so hard to get everything done when you work full time. I always say I am going to cut back the decs, but never do. Just writing about this is getting me excited to start and I just put my turkeys out yesterday.
    Syble

  • Related Discussions

    When do you take down your Christmas decorations?

    Q

    Comments (25)
    dedtired, that's the "old" Annie. I used to decorate everything, indoors and out. I have Christmas mugs and Christmas platters, Christmas dishtowels and Christmas bowls. Ashley has a huge collection of snowglobes, probably 50 or 60 of them, and Amanda has nearly that many nutcrackers. Amanda doesn't even put them up at her house, LOL, they stayed packed in the basement this year. Ashley didn't get anything out either. ?Several years ago I realized that I just dreaded Christmas, I was learning to despise it with a vengeance, all the commercialism, the glitz, the hoo-rah. I spent so much time fiddling with decorations, baking cookies, mailing cards to people I haven't seen for years that I didn't have any time to enjoy any of the Christmas things I really loved. So I stopped. Now I watch the Muppet Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Charlie Brown. I bake cookies with the grandkids and I go to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and the family Christmas party. I even gave up the "Christmas Eve party for 40 family members where I did all the cooking". This year I blew $75 and rented the townhall and everyone brought a dish to pass. Now with Elery's family I have "Christmas stuff" to do with them too, so I need to have some time for that. So, now that I have Elery and his family to add to the celebrations and Dad's gone and the grandkids are here and Ashley's mostly gone, things are changing. What will Christmas eventually become? Darned if I know, but every year it changes just a little bit..... Annie
    ...See More

    When do you put up your Christmas tree?

    Q

    Comments (60)
    The first year we were married, I put up a live tree. The Sunday after Xmas, which happened to be the 26th, my husband went to church and I decided the tree was too dry and a hazard so I took it down while I had the house to myself. When my husband returned from church, he told me his parents and sister were on the way over to see our tree. I didn't know it was their tradition to visit each other to see the trees. Whoops. There's the tree on the porch waiting to be dragged to the curb and here are the boxes the ornaments are in. Pretty, no? Most years I don't put up a tree. I put up a tree the first one or two years we were married but didn't enjoy it so I stopped for many years. When my niece and nephew starting visiting us for the month of December, we did a tree again for 4-5 years. They will not be visiting this year so no tree is planned. When I do a tree, and it's live, I wait until a week or so before Xmas. If I use our fake one, I put it up the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving. I don't have a set tear down day, it depends on tree dryness, my schedule, if I'm tired of the look and need a clean slate.
    ...See More

    When do you put your tree up?

    Q

    Comments (40)
    Holly, we also do not have a tree because of the cat problem. We only have one cat, but she considers any type of Christmas tree or other decoration as a toy. I even tried a tabletop candle/wreath ornament - you know, nice red candle in the middle of a nice (artificial) wreath. When I scolded our cat for chewing on the wreath, she grabbed the whole arrangement and started to drag it off the table. The candle was *lit*, too (shudder). Obviously, that didn't last long. Since we love our wild little cat, we just enjoy decorations at other homes - unless we have time to put up lights on some of our buildings.
    ...See More

    When do you take your Christmas decor down?

    Q

    Comments (52)
    Re housecleaners--that was another motivation for me to at least get my tree down last week; I did it the day before the incredibly efficient person who cleans for me came so she could really get everything scrubbed and vacuumed up :). And about lights-after many years of carefully winding them around cardboard or storing in bags, and then taking them out the next year and trying to find strings that didn't have burnt bulbs and/ weren't twisted up....I am living the truly decadent lifestyle of buying several boxes of the 300-light strings from Home Depot, putting them on the tree and then THROWING THEM OUT. It makes me feel sorta guilty but mostly delighted to know that next year I will just spend another $10 and not have to worry or fuss with lights! I finally got all my holiday decorations down, boxed and back in the garage loft on Monday. I use only red or green plastic bins that seal tightly, the color so they are easily identifiable and sealed so no critters or dust can get in. Each box is numbered and I long ago created a corresponding list of the box numbers with the contents of each in detail. I sometimes make a few changes in content so I update the printed list each year and one copy goes in the loft with the supplies, the other stays on my desk. Each year when it's time to decorate I know exactly which boxes have what, which makes it super easy to unload and unpack when I get ready to decorate. It sounds more complicated than it really is I suppose--was a bit of a chore to set up but has saved untold hours of aggravation over the years and makes the holiday effort a lot easier. Controlling type A personality? Nah, not me.......lol
    ...See More
  • jaybird
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    (1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December? Usually I start the first weekend in December, but due to DD signing me up for a Christmas tour on her blog, I have to get in gear the weekend after Thanksgiving.....yikes!!!
    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?
    Normally DGS and I do it all, but DD better show up to help this time!!!!!!

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again?? It's generally up in a couple of days....I may still be tweaking in January ;^)

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing? DGS and I start putting them away at New Years, but may not finish until the next weekend.

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy? Well, we eat and laugh and I tell him stories about where things came from...he's sweet and tolerates me!!

  • kathleen_li
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December?

    I have to start right after Tgiving.
    When I was younger and worked full time, I had to be finished around the 8th of Dec as we always had a big party that weekend. Not the live tree, but everything else.
    Now I start early, and finish late! :(

    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?

    I do it all myself...dh helps with the big tree and he does the outdoor lights and hangs the big wreaths on the house gable and garage.

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked

    3 weeks

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing? .

    I do it myself, and never before , Three Kings Day..

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy..

    Nope, just do it...I am retired now, so I have the time to do some each day. When I worked it would have to be done on the weekend, along with all the other chores.
    It's the carrying the bins up and down the stairs that kills me!

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I used to do lots of decorating, but now it is usually just a couple of wreaths, and some centerpieces... not even a tree. (The reason is long and complicated.)

    (1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December? Or, do you start even before Thanksgiving (Gasp!LOL!)?

    I always wait until the second week in December. It was our daughter's favorite holiday, and when she was home, we did it earlier. I usually try to at least put some greens into a little wicker carriage I have, and put it on the porch.

    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?

    Always by myself, except when DD was home, including dragging it all out and putting it back away.

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again??

    As soon as I put something out, I mess with it almost every time I walk by.

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing?

    Usually January 7. Always by myself now.

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy?

    Nope, not any more.

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I intended to mention the Christmas tour on your daughter's blog. You do realize that we want pictures, pictures, and more pictures? Looking forward to seeing what you do.

    Lee

  • luckygal
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sounds as if you have a system that works pretty well, Lynn.

    I doubt I've ever done Christmas the same twice in my adult life. We used to start decorating before mid December but it's getting earlier and earlier. I love the Christmas season and have left decorations up for as long as 2 months. Last year we were away for over a month before Christmas so I did Christmas vignettes after Halloween then did the tree very quickly when we got home mid-Dec.

    1. This year I've already started planning. I put away Halloween on Monday and have been making a list of which Christmas deco's I want to use and where, and the colors for the tree. I'm debating complicating my life by redoing my plate rails with some I've had packed away for years. The sensible part of me says "leave it" but that decorating gene will probably have it's way. It's a major job and lots of climbing up and down and will take a couple of days. It's a good time to completely wash it all down as I usually just do a swiffer on it. Maybe I'll start that tomorrow and have it done by the weekend. We have a city shopping trip planned for the 21st of Nov. when I could buy some Christmas things but not sure I want to wait that long to decorate. So we'll see, Christmas might start next week around here or not til after the 21st this year.

    2. Our Christmas stuff is stored in boxes as they take less space than bins. We have a "secret" storage space behind a closet in a guest room upstairs that holds everything and DH takes them out and carries it all down to the great room. He puts the tree up and does the lights and also the outside lights. He's resisted getting a pre-lit tree and we don't agree how it should be done so some years I have done it myself. DH would prefer I do it but it's not a fun job and I'd rather boss him around! LOLOL When the tree is up and lit I do everything else.

    3. It takes me more than a day to decorate the tree - I only do one tree now. A few hours for the mantel depending on how well it goes together. The vignettes get done and sometimes redone continuously during the season as inspiration strikes or if I buy something new or depending on our entertaining. When little fingers are around I have to move everything up higher.

    4. I used to often leave things up til end of January. This year if I get it up by mid-Nov. it will probably be packed away beginning of January. I like to do it all myself except DH will pack away the lights and tree and put the boxes away.

    5. While I'm taking everything down I think about how I'll accessorize so it doesn't look so bleak. I play music which I enjoy but I do that every day. It's kind of a sad day but when everything is undecorated, vacuumed, and dusted it's like a new start too. One year after the cats had decimated the tree a couple of times (came home to the tree tipped over on the floor and deco's everywhere!!!) I took everything down on the 26th of December and redid the mantel with red and silver for New Years Eve, then later added some hearts and left it up for Valentine's Day. That seemed to extend the season.

    I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone's decorations!

  • oreos_mom
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I usually start around the first of Dec. putting things out. It takes about a week to get everything where I want it. I do everything myself, since I'm kind of like Lynn's "mini Martha" and am particular about where things go. My Christmas village takes the longest since I'm usually adding things to it right up until Christmas Eve ! My life is so hectic, that doing all this by myself kind of relaxes me, believe it or not ! I start taking everything down and packing up the week after New Year's and I do that all by myself also, because DBF is kind of a klutz and if he breaks anything.. well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty ..lol ! That usually takes me about a week because it's hard to get stuff packed up when you're kicking yourself for putting out that much to begin with ! I don't know how "minimalist" folks do it. I think the only way I could follow a " less is more " approach would be if I was sitting in a jail cell !

    Susan

  • ncnana
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Last year when I first started on this board, I was so jealous of the Canadian posters who are able to start decorating anytime after Halloween.

    1. I usually start the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    2. I do most of the decorating, hubby does anything that's too high. My son and dil, and now the grandsons help with the livingroom tree. Hubby helps get the lights on the other trees, and he does most of the outside decorating.

    3. It usually takes about a week and a half.

    4. I do most of the packing away myself. Hubby undoes the things he helped with in the first place.

    5. Putting things away is the pits. I don't think there's much that could be done, to make it cheerier for me. If only I could convince the neighbors to join me, I'd keep the Christmas things up until March, then I'd probably be happy to pack them away.

    I have heard of families that have an extra little gift hidden under the tree for all those who helped with the undecorating.

    Fun questions, Lynn. - Gail

  • yachter123
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I usually try to get my tablescape done just after Thanksgiving, but as far as a tree, (lots of complicated reasons too) I avoid putting one up anymore.

    I like my xmas things to come down on New Years Day.

    Hubby used to help with the tree (when we did one), getting it out of attic, putting lights on & we all would chip in putting ornaments on, but then I'd tweak it almost daily!

    The putting away is hurry up & get it out of here!

    Can you tell I'm not a fan of Christmas? Too many years it being spoiled for us, so we take it as most any other day now.

    Last year we took our son & the grandkids out of town for 4 days to avoid it, but this year I have 2 litters of puppies & it is not possible to be out of town.

    I do love doing the tablescapes but not much else anymore.
    I have two spiral trees I put out on the front deck last year & they were always visible inside from the bay window, so at least the kids saw trees with colored lights even though they were outside.

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ((((Yachter))))

    Lee

  • blizlady
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I usually don't get our Christmas tree and decorations up until a week or two before Christmas, and usually don't get around to putting everything away until late January. I do everything myself now that our kids no longer live with us and they have their own families and trees. Hubby is busy with work during the day and teaches skiing and snowboarding most nights so no help with putting up or taking down.

    I have cut back drastically over the years on our inside decorations (just our fireplace mantel, the tree and the village)and we don't do outside decorations other than a lighted moose and a few spotlights on the house.

    I will decorate our small artificial tree one night and then it takes a couple nights to put out my village. I normally leave the village out (which is the Snow Village) until late February since we still have snow!! That's a good excuse to have some "winter" decorations even when the Christmas stuff is put away.

    I wish there was a wonderful, cheery way to put everything away, but I "bah humbug" throughout the whole putting away process...lol! So I'm going to keep checking for suggestions!

  • nhardy
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    1. The fall items get put away very fast. I put up all the trees & wreaths, except the living room tree, the weekend after Thanksgiving. My sister always needs help that weekend too. I help her bring up her trees and ornaments. The living room tree is the next weekend.

    2. 95% of decorations I put up by myself. My mother likes to put the last few icicles on the living room tree. I use to put up outdoor lights, but no one would help hold the ladder for me & the few times I did, snow made it hard to take the lights down. That was the end of the outdoor lights, bah-humbug.

    3. All of the other little things get brought up the first weekend in Dec.

    4. The first tree down is the living room tree. It comes down 2 weekends before Superbowl. All the rest come down the next weekend. Just me, myself & I taking it down plus helping my sister carry her trees down stairs.

    5. A few years ago I pulled out everything Christmas. A lot of things I gave to GW. I feel happier taking things down now since buying some containers, Martha Stewart shelving racks & new storage boxes for the ornaments. I love those ornament boxes. Everything has a place now & don't struggle putting anything away.

  • dining_delight
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I will start decorating on the wknd of Nov. 14th so that I can have two weeks of tweaking before we host our (now annual) Christmas Wine Tasting on Nov. 28. Thanksgiving is over for us (Canada)so my fall decor will be coming down this wknd.

    DH does the outside lights and helps with anything I ask but I prefer to do it myself.

    Tweak, tweak, tweak until I take it down in late January. It is sad day when we de-decorate, (DH helps with some stuff). I tend to go with a winter/snowflake theme for Jan-Mar and leave up those type of decor and lots of white mini-lights on the mantle. Then it isn't so dreary around the house.

    DD

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lee, and Yacht, both of you touched my heart and I wish I could hug you. I got a bit teary reading your posts.

    Lynn, good thread and interesting to see what everyone does. Tho 07 ended my routine of decorating over Thanksgiving weekend, when it took me two weeks to decorate!! Then last year took me 3! Scary to think this year could be worse. LOL.

    1. I will start with some stuff the week before Thanksgiving tho, things that don't interfere with my Fall decor as I also enjoy having it out.

    2. My DH will carry the bins in (and later back out) from store-room and garage for me, but that's ALL he does! Decorating is not his thing. He enjoys what I do, but also said if I didn't feel like doing any, that would be ok. sigh. He rarely notices anything, Mr Oblivious. My Dad loves my efforts a lot tho.

    3. I have NO idea how long it will take me to be done, just hope I can get "done".

    4. I'd like to start taking things down the 2nd week in Jan, beginning with the trees and real Xmasy stuff. The Village will the first up and last down again.

    5. I'm with Oreo's Mom "it's hard to get stuff packed up when you're kicking yourself for putting out that much to begin with!" LOL
    The first week after everything is packed away again, the house feels so empty and colorless. And I feel sad and miss the decorations. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the colors of Fall or Christmas.

    hugs, Karen

  • phonegirl
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    (1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December? Or, do you start even before Thanksgiving (Gasp!LOL!)?

    We start with outside decorations before Thanksgiving and set timers to turn lights on Thanksgiving evening. When guests are leaving they always enjoy seeing the outside decorations lit up.

    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?
    I do the biggest majority inside and get some help from family for the outside.

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again??

    We spend 2-3 weekends and tweak till Christmas.

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing?

    We take ours down right after New Years and most of the time I get help from family with the outside decorations.

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy?

    Our DD and SIL usually plan to help with decorations every year. Both put up and take down.

    All of our decorations go over in the large shop upstairs so we have a few truck loads to get it all put back. It's always freezing here so we just getter done. We do come in for hot choc. and treats afterwards.

    Do I like the fact it has to be put away. NO, NO, NO absolutely NOT! What a horrible thought to have to think about.LOL

    Punk

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Karen, thank you. You are so thoughtful and sweet.

    I wish I could help with your decos. I would even let you boss me around! Actually, I would be no help at all, so maybe I could boss you around?

    I did have one thought. Is there any teen that you could hire? They could do the lifting, etc., and you would be able to expend your energy strictly on the unpacking and decorating part. This time of year, seems as though some would want to be earning extra money.

    Lee

  • pdg777
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    (1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving?

    I always SAY I will start the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It always ends up being the first Saturday in December.


    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?

    It's a solo act, not by choice. But I won't go there.

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again??

    Tweakage is continuous, until the day it's taken down. Mostly because I do my final pictures just before everything comes down, so I can remember how I tweaked it. Then the following year, I never go back to the pictures and have to tweak during the whole season the following year too. I think I must like tweaking.

    And on this note, I always START a list of where everything is, to be typed up and printed out for next year. I never finish the list, as towards the end of packing I'm just stuffing stuff wherever it will fit and making a mental note to write it on the list. A week or two ago, while looking for an important document, I found the list that I was suppose to type from last Christmas.

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing?

    I usually pack it away on the Martin Luther King holiday. Last year it was done earlier; can't remember why, maybe the inauguration? Again, it's a solo act.

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy?

    You mean besides feeling sorry for myself for having to put it all away, feeling mad at myself for putting out so much, feeling sad that Christmas is over, or feeling that the house looks blah -- other than these fun feelings? No, nothing else. I usually leave something out all year on purpose, like I forgot to put it away. Last year it was the powder room Christmas soap dispenser.

  • jaybird
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Texas sized hugs to Yachter....
    Y'all work so hard and everything always look wonderful. We will be looking forward to seeing everyone's pictures!

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    pdg,

    I had to smile at your comment re: the list. Best laid plans... and all that.

    ---
    I noticed that so many of you miss your decorations after you take them down. The previous owners of this house lived here five years. She left her Christmas tree up year round. The real estate agent said she finally convinced her to take it down after listing the house.

    I am kind of reaching the point where if something gives you pleasure, and it doesn't hurt anyone, what is the harm. Of course it depends on whether or not you live alone, and other factors. I do leave out my little bronzy-looking reindeer all the time, but I guess that is a long way from a fully decorated Christmas tree.

    One of my long-time goals is not to be thought of as the odd old woman at the end of the street, but think I already am. (-:

    As the song goes, "I've Always Been Crazy, But It's Kept Me From Going Insane".

  • bourbonlady
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi all! Missed everyone since last year this time!

    (1) Do you start like Karen, the day or weekend after Thanksgiving? Or wait until farther along in December? Or, do you start even before Thanksgiving (Gasp!LOL!)?

    I'm one of the (Gasp!LOL!) people that start before Thanksgiving....usually right after Halloween as soon as the Halloween decorations get put away.

    (2) Do you put everything up yourself or have family help?

    I do the majority myself. The DSs and DH help bring the trees and tubs from next door and deposit where I tell them. From there, it's me that puts it all together. The majority of the outside is done by the DSs and DH, but planning on extending to the backyard this year, so we will just see! :)

    (3) How long does it take you to get everything up and reasonably tweaked . . . as I know most of us continue to tweak until we pack it all away again??

    It usually takes a good 2-3 weeks depending on the kids' schedules and our schedules. Tweaking continues until everything starts coming down.

    (4) When do you pack all your holiday decs away? Do you get stuck doing it yourself or is it a family thing?

    We usually start taking it all down New Years Day. The boys handle the outside stuff and the carrying of the tubs and trees back next door for me. I'm particular about what gets packed where and how, so I do all of that. I usually take it all down pretty casually throughout January.

    (5) And finally, is there anything you do to make taking the holiday decs down and packing them away fun . . . or at least, not Bah-Humbuggy?

    NO! Nothing fun about it.....everything looks so sad and empty when it comes down. I guess the only thing that would be considered fun about packing it all away is adding to the containers all the post-season sale goodies that I've found and dreaming about how they will be added and incorporated the next year. I always forget what goodies I found the previous year, so it's always fun re-discovering it all the next year.

    Alex

  • yachter123
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Big hugs to you Lee and thanks to Karen & Jaybird. It is all about giving the grankids good memories about the holidays, without stress and the only way to do that is to take them far away, so DH & I & son did that last year.

    The gkids had a wonderful time & not one thing to worry about.

  • User
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Last year was our first Christmas together in our house so I had DH set the tree up Thanksgiving night because I was so excited. I took off work Friday and spend the entire day and weekend decorating. I did add more stuff throughout the season. It all came down New Years Day. I felt cluttered and was tired of looking at everything. It took me most of the day to get it packed up.

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sheesharee, Sounds like you had fun. It's nice to have someone so happy and enthused about the holidays. I guess you will be starting around Thanksgiving again this year, too. Enjoy!

    Lee

  • plainjane425
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Before I moved from NY, EVERY Christmas..was at my Home, with 25-30 people. (my mother did it for 20 yrs..Christmas Eve/Day..New Year's Eve/Day, with sometimes 45-60 people!)
    So when it was my turn, I was used to this type of entertaining.
    We lived midway from everyone, and the drive to my home was the best.
    The day after Thanksgiving we would cut down our tree..
    That weekend, I would put up all the House Decos..DH did all the outside decor..lights, window wreaths, etc. The following week, DH would bring down the Train Set...set up the tree, do the Lights and I would decorate the Tree.
    Now, living in CT..I have Candle Lights in the Front Windows All The Time.
    I do Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, with DD,DSIL my Gkids DD's FIL & SIL come.
    HOWEVER, we now do a Family Christmas Reunion (Everyone from all sides of Family)...come the week After Thanksgiving.
    So now,right after Halloween, DH takes down all his Christmas Village boxes...sets it all up, then puts all the boxes back. He then brings down all the House Decor...I decorate the house..takes several day. He does the outside lights, wreaths..sled on porch..by barn..etc.
    The following week, DH brings down the Train Layout.
    Sets up the Trains for under the tree...Sets up the (now Artificial Tree) and I decorate the tree by my self.
    We still go the Day After Thanksgiving (Tradition) and chop down a Live tree...to set up on the Front Porch.
    After New Years, I put all the House Decos away...I keep the tree up until 'Little Christmas'. I usually undecorate it myself..DH & I both put the boxes away.
    DH dismantles the Christmas Village two weeks later.
    We leave the Fresh Wreath on the front door up, until March. We also leave all the 'Winter' decos up until March..

    As far as Keeping 'Bah Humbug' away...that's always hard, because it's a very anti climatic feeling when everything is over... When my DD was home,we would make a big fire in the FP, have hot chocolate and roast marshmallows.
    We also did a 'Note For Next Year' and put it away in with the Christmas Decos, till the following year. We would write down something we would try to change..in our Behavior..that would 'Bug Anyone'... (like me..getting strung out over too many details).. In time, I did get better...I found that we enjoyed ourselves even if I didn't get EVERYTHING on my list done.
    :)
    jane

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Jane, I am so glad you posted this. The 'Note For Next Year' is a wonderful idea.

    Re: your family Christmas reunion: Do you do all the cooking, or do others bring stuff? Sometimes that works out, but not always... My husband's family had big family reunions like that.

    Your Thanksgiving and Christmas Day sound really enjoyable.

    I'm glad your DH is so helpful with the decorations. Please be sure and take plenty of pictures, including the train.

    Sorry you have to take DGS home today. Did he and your DH get much done decorating-wise? Have a safe trip there and back.

    Lee

    One thing I used to do that I really enjoyed was keep a Christmas Journal. Nothing fancy, just bought a red book with empty pages. I put down what the weather was like, who was there, any special news, that kind of thing. I always listed the menu, too. Why I did that, I can't imagine --our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were always the same foods. I put the journal away with the Christmas dishes, and got it out the next year. I wish I had started it when my children were small. I stopped keeping it a few years ago, but I really would recommend it to anyone.

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Jane, I want to be adopted and come to your house for the holidays. LOL. Gosh, it all sounds so wonderful.

    Lee, your journal was a terrific idea. It would have been neat to think to do that when children are little, and be able to remember all those times that we think we'll never forget, but do. I so wish you could still enjoy Christmas and I can't help but feel sad about that.

    Funny, but joining this Forum caused such a huge change in my feelings about Christmas,(and decorating for other Holidays. There were several years I didn't decorate at all. Or just stuck up a pathetic tree and put a wreath on the door to say I had. (this was after my kids were grown and had their own families.) I stopped enjoying Christmas.

    I tell the kids now, that if I end up in a nursing home someday, they better bring my Stacked Plates and Cloche for me to keep decorated. LOL.

    hugs, Karen

  • plainjane425
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lee...I LIKE your idea of the Journal...it's nice that you did that and have them now.
    I was given one once, and I'm afraid I was not faithful with it. Now I'm sorry.
    It's funny though, every year, I made lists and still have them (the year, how many for dinner...food, how large the ham/turkey,etc)...we always had the same menu too!! lol

    As far as the cooking for the Family Reunion...
    It 's a Pot Luck.. I usually Email everyone on how many are coming..and who's bringing what. I keep sending out emails showing the full list to everyone, so the ones who haven't decided on what to bring, can see. It works out pretty well that way. ALL the desserts are brought by my DSIL & DBIL, they own 4 Bakeries..and NO one can compete w/that! lol
    Since we don't exchange gifts anymore..we do a 'Grab Bag'
    $5 Christmas tree ornament.. Everyone enjoys getting a nice new ornament and also to have as a keepsake. The kids are now getting involved too, which is nice.

    Karen... 'I Officially Adopt You'...lol
    When my mother did all the Gatherings at her home, we would have so many people, because someone was always bringing someone over... So, it's Dec 5th...
    I hear the Airfares are pretty cheap again...You're welcome to come..bring Lee too.

    jane

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You said "There were several years I didn't decorate at all. Or just stuck up a pathetic tree and put a wreath on the door to say I had. (this was after my kids were grown and had their own families.) I stopped enjoying Christmas."

    I am so glad you got your Christmas spirit back. I love to see how much pleasure you get from everything. That is how we should live.

    I'm sorry I made you sad, I didn't mean to. I have many things to be thankful for, and I try to focus on that. I get to talking and don't know when to shut up.
    I plan on doing more decorating this year, and I even got some of my Christmas dishes out. I won't put up a big tree -- it is just too much work, and I am too lazy. (-;
    I do want to do some things on the front porch besides just a wreath and bows.

    "I tell the kids now, that if I end up in a nursing home someday, they better bring my Stacked Plates and Cloche for me to keep decorated. LOL."

    Heck, take 'em with you! Just think, at the nursing home we can do almost anything -- at least that is what I am planning on. lol

    Lee

  • lynninnewmexico
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Awwww, you all are the greatest . . . ervery one of you! It's been so nice to read about all your traditions.
    As for a Christmas Journal, I've been doing one for the past 25 years that I've been married. I need to start a new thread about them, to find out what you all put in yours and share about mine. I can always use new, better ideas!
    Lynn

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lee, you sweetheart, please don't ever think you need to stop talking, or worry about making me sad. Its good for both of us. When I had a tragedy in my life in 01, I normally would have closed myself off from most folks but it turned out my problems hit the News and Internet, and also spread on a dog forum I was part of. I learned a lot about sharing a huge burden, and how much it lightened my load! I also learned a lot about people. Its embarrassing how jaded I was before this happened when it came to trusting or opening up to folks. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by caring folks I barely knew, as well as strangers. My life began changing so much that year, in so many ways. Now I'm an open book, LOL. I think the best part was making so many good friends along this particular journey, people who have become like family to me. So when I discovered this Forum and Garden Junk one, it just enlarged my little world even more. I never feel alone now, and knowing others who've gone thru similar things has also really helped in that. Sometimes our own pain makes up feel alone, or think no one could understand.
    That just isn't true tho. Thank goodness.
    How did I ever manage before Computerland? LOL Tho in all seriousness, the more housebound and crippled I become with the Fibro, its my Lifeline at times.

    Anyway, I am so glad you are planning more decorating this year, and especially glad you are here with all of us! You DO make me very happy!

    heart hugs, Karen

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Karen, you are the sweetest thing --

    I do know what you mean about the internet being your lifeline at times. When we lived on the farm, I stopped going anywhere by myself after DH's illness got worse. It was so nice to be able to get on the computer no matter what time it was. I've learned a lot - from the museums, newspapers in other countries, and all that. The best thing though is the people I've met. Since we have moved into this little town, I do run to the grocery store, and (gasp) Dollar General alone. That pretty much covers all the stores in town, unless you want a haircut or some insurance. lol It is a jumping place.

    Now, when do we get to see what you do with all the new goodies you've found? I am going to go through my old photos and see if I have one from last year of the little purple and teal display. It wasn't anything like the gals on here do, but I enjoyed it. Is the lavender Santa going to have his own special place? I am wondering if you will put the purple nutcracker with him, or all the others.

    Take care,
    Lee

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Small town life sounds good to me. As does living in the country. We had a few acres when I had horses and other animals back in the 60s and 70's. Phoenix is soooo big, too much traffic, and I hate driving even if it didn't cause my leg to go on the warpath. I was born in a small town, in Ala. I don't really going places alone either, and won't go out at night except to family gatherings at one of my kids.

    I'm waiting the arrival of my toile plates I just bought.
    Tho heaven knows what I can find to do with them, but will try just because of all the support I've gotten here. Any table settings I do will be just for ONE, maybe two if you're lucky. LOL. I'm going to be a one-trick pony, sorry about that. I just can't do full tables for many reasons.

    I've been 'planning' my Christmas decor. Really planning this year. Thought it might take some of the load off me being so over-whelmed with it when I go to unpacking a zillion things in the middle of the floor while telling two cats NOT to help me. A zillion times! One sleepless night I started plotting different places to put things this year. I want my newly begun collection of Nutcrackers (started last year) pretty much together. But I think the purple one should go with the Santa. And I have two golf Santas and two golf Nutcrackers that should stay together. Last year they were with my two other special Nutcrackers, a policeman and a fireman. These have a lot of meaning!

    I'm going to put my Village in the antique china cabinet in my entry hall this time I think, instead of Painted Pony Cabinet in familyroom. Tho I still have to move over a 100 statues from BOTH. I was thinking of putting Xmas horses and reindeer in the pony cabinet. I have quite a few of both now. Anyway, its fun to mentally decorate. It also doesn't wear me out or hurt my body. LOL. I think I'll start my Village next week in fact.
    First I have to make room for all those dog statues to safely go on closet shelves for the next two months! Ugh.

    hugs, Karen

  • plainjane425
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Gee Karen & Lee...if we lived closer, we could 'meet' on
    those sleepless nights...and 'bounce' plans off one another.
    When I have one of Lupus flareups, late at night, I do my heavest thinking and planning too - It would be great to have company.. lol.
    Seems like the best thing to do, to stay out of trouble!!

    jane

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Jane, us being here at all hours of the night is the next best thing to actually being together. Tho I think you could get us in trouble easily, LOL. FUN kinda trouble!
    (I'm so sorry you have to deal with Lupus, must be terrible for you. Your great sense of humor is amazing in light of what you go thru.)

    So if we're bouncing ideas, how does it sound to put Christmas horses and reindeer together? I was thinking of doing other pieces as well to make 'scenes'. ? Depending on what all I find that I've forgotten. LOL. But any appropriate size Santas or sleighs maybe. I have 7 of the Breyer Christmas Horses, and about 20 of the Painted Pony ones. Not sure how many small deer I have that would work with them. Anyway, it would be something totally different this year..if it works!

    hugs, Karen

  • plainjane425
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh Karen..
    That would be a wonderful idea.
    It would be like a 'Collage' of all your figures, in nice groupings. I would love to see that from start to finish... It would be nice to take pictures as you go along.
    I put something together like that each year, on my small hutch, (much smaller scale than what you plan)...with all my little collections. It's nice to see them in groupings, I think.
    You're right though, you have to have them out in front of you, to decide on what and where.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing it..

    As far as getting into to 'Fun Trouble'... Most Definitely!!
    LOL

    jane

  • hi2all
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Karen, I like what you have planned with your displays. Also glad to hear that Mr. Purple Nutcracker will be with your new Santa. I like the idea of the different groupings. Your golf, fireman and policeman deserve a special place, too.

    I don't envy you having to move so many little items. When I am having trouble with my hands, I will be holding something, and then I am not. I don't have wood floors any more -- concrete sure isn't very forgiving! It doesn't keep me from using my old stuff, though. I have resigned myself that if I break Mother's "whatever", at least I was enjoying it and not leaving it in a closet for someone to get rid of.

    Can't wait to see all your pretties! An Alabama girl in Phoenix? My, that is quite a change geographically.

    Take care,
    Lee

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I knew bouncing ideas around here would help, I'm getting exciting now about trying it and thinking less about moving all those fragile horses and dogs. I try to adopt the old Nike slogan of "Just Do It". Thinking about doing stuff overwhelms me most of the time! Makes it nearly impossible for me to START with an uncooperative body. LOL.

    Lee, I was born in Ala, and spent childhood summers there with grandparents, aunts and uncles. But being an AF Brat didn't have us living there. Dad actually got 3 tours-12 yrs- to Columbus, so I was raised more in Ohio as a kid. Spent two years in Waco, TX. He was sent here the week I turned 14 and we never left. I finally got horses, lived in the country, and was really in my element. My heart is a country girl's even tho I wasn't born one. My 3 kids and 8 grandkids all were born here, and live close-by. So I will never leave I guess. (I do hate the HOT 6 months as I get older, the endless sunshine, and lack of rain. So I dream of Oregon, LOL. Never been except in my dreams tho)

    hugs, Karen

  • judithva
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    1. I am aiming for the day after Thanksgiving.

    2. Do it alone (well not quite true, my little dog Toby "assists").

    I do assist my DD with her tree, she hates putting up the tree so I help her out, but she is mostly directing ME to how she wants it (she does have her own vision for decor, she just hates carrying it out). She is an accountant so is very strict in her perfection type of vision when it comes to her tree decorations. (Even I am NOT that picky LOL). I leave with a bit of a headache from trying to acheive "perfection", but she is happy and greatful that I helped her and that's what it is all about for me, a happy DD during what is a stessful time of the year in her "accountant world".)

    3. It can take me any where from all day to 3-4 days, it just depends on my stamina for that day. Yep, I tweak and tweak, I have been know to tweak even on the day it comes down..yes something is wrong with me.

    4. Usually pack away in January, depends on my mood and how I feel.

    5. Just me, even my dog is not interested in "helping".

    6. I hate taking it down, but to motivate me I will look the day before at decorating pics I have saved in my inspiration files, books and magazines seeing all the non-seasonal decor ideas will re-excite me into getting my home back to normal so I can do some of the things on my wish list.

  • luvstocraft
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This sure has been a fun post to read, love hearing about everyone's decorating rituals and plans for this year--but now I'm too tired to answer all those questions! LOL

    I wait until after Thanksgiving is over. Stash all the fall things away, then start on Christmas. DH says he "supervises", but mostly I do the decorating. He helps drag the tree in, and puts up the lights on the house. I take it all down and stash it away usually around New Year's.

    This year, my DIL has asked to host both Thanksgiving and Christmas since her parents are coming from Costa Rica. I'm sort of debating whether I want to put all the Christmas decorations up or not since we won't be celebrating the holiday here. Seems like allot of work for just the two of us. Maybe I should plan an open house for friends/family, that would give me more incentive to decorate.

    I'm really looking forward to everyone's pretty pictures of their decorations. Even just a few pretty Christmas pieces add so much. I'm so sorry for those of you who struggle with illness or family issues, either for yourself or a family member. I love how you keep your sense of humor and are always so caring for others in spite of it all. It's nice to know we can always come here and find a funny story someone has shared or an encouraging word regarding our attempts to add some beauty and fun to our lives either through a pretty table or sharing our latest finds. You all make every season more special.

    Luvs

  • Purplemoon
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Luvs, an open house sounds good for you to share your decor with friends and family. Tho I think you should also decorate for YOURSELF. I swear, if I was a hermit, I'd still want to do it. LOL. That was one reason I didn't decorate those years in the past, no one saw it except DH and he didn't care one way or the other. So it seemed such a 'waste. Now tho, its become important to MY happiness and adds a lot of color (literally and figuratively) to my Life!

    Lee, the reason I said my kids would have to bring my cloche and stacked plates to a nursing home if I ever went in one, is because they'd HAVE to haul my butt there in the first place! LOL Along with a lot of my 'stuff'. And a dog or two. No dogs allowed ?, then I'm NOT going!

    hugs, Karen

  • lynninnewmexico
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It has been fun, hasn't it? I love the individuality here. Great people. Great ideas.
    Lynn

Sponsored
More Discussions