Back in the day I used to love decorating my home for Christmas. I decorated one large and several small trees, had yards of garland running up the banister, and multiple Christmas collections displayed throughout the house. Santas, angels, carolers and a huge Christmas village graced every flat surface and window sill. For several years we even had a train running around the tree. It was the complete opposite of easy Christmas decorating.
As the years went by, and my boys got older, what was once a joy started to become a burden. I found myself stressed around thoughts of decorating and found myself decorating out of obligation rather than joy.
Now, that we have downsized to a small condo it’s all about easy Christmas decorating for me. If I have to devote more than a couple hours on a weekend, I’m just not doing it. Plus, in a small space the more decorations, the more clutter and that stresses me out.
During the downsizing, I went from twenty seven large plastic bins of Christmas decorations, down to three. Now I do what I call my downsized easy Christmas decorating. I have three spots I decorate, plus the dining table and that’s it. Here is a tour of our condo decorated for Christmas.
Decorating a live tree is important to both my husband and myself. It’s the one thing I will do until I am no longer physically able to do it. We call our tree a “memory tree” because every single ornament carries a special memory.
“Baby’s first Christmas” ornaments, elementary school hand crafted ornaments and gifted ornaments from dear friends. Each one is special and brings back a wonderful warm memory.
The mantle is the second place I look to do easy Christmas decorating. This year I purchased some garland from Trader Joes, then tucked in some fresh pomegranates and clementines. Finally, I added a few nutcrackers that made the cut when we downsized.
I don’t think I spent more than 5-10 minutes decorating the mantle. Standing in line at Trader Joe’s to purchase the garland, took more time than decorating with it.
When my boys were little, they received a “collectible” nutcracker every year from the Hallmark collection of mini nutcrackers. One more group of items that made the cut when we downsized.
The coffee table
Decorating the coffee table was as easy as the mantle. I purchased the birch log with fresh greenery at Home Depot, during a trip to buy a new string of lights. I spritz it with water every couple of days and it is holding up beautifully. Plus, the smell is divine.
The two angels in front belonged to my grandmother and then my mom. They are stamped Japan on the bottom and although they are a little ragged, they are one more precious memory for me.
Having something festive on the small dining dining table was also a super easy Christmas decoration. I purchased a fresh 8″ mini wreath, (also from Trader Joe’s) plopped it on top of a pewter bowl and filled it with the remainder of the fresh clementines that I used on the mantle.
Such a good bang for my decorating bucks as I believe the wreath was only $5.99.
Let’s be honest, decorating for Christmas can take a lot of time. Add in baking, shopping, card sending, wrapping and more, and it’s enough to wipe out any sense of Christmas joy.
Not counting the time it took to decorate the tree (a couple of hours), I might have spent 20-30 minutes total decorating the mantle, coffee table, and dining table. Our condo looks festive, it smells wonderful and I had no stress or sense of dread around decorating.
So if you are into elaborate Christmas decorating, go for it. For the rest of you though, especially those of you who have downsized, give yourself some grace. Buy some fresh greenery, put out a few Christmas decorations (or not) and enjoy the season without stress.
Lastly, every year I bake this one treat. If you have been following me for awhile then you know what it is. It’s Gail Cronin’s Cranberry Squares.
You can read my magical Christmas story of Gail and her cranberry squares and get the recipe HERE.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, downsized easy Christmas decorating!