seasonal stash {enough, day 5}

I know it’s Monday, but we’re DOING A POLAR BEAR PLUNGE INTO THE DEEP END, friends.

We’re going to purge some of our beloved holiday decorations (if we dare). Okay, so we’ll keep the beloved ones and lose the rest (or something like that). Christmas ornaments, Easter bunnies, turkeys, Santa figurines, snowmen, jack-o-lanterns…

(But, first, here’s your chance to catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 of the Enough Experiment if you’d like.)

I’m going to tread carefully(ish) in this post, because I know we’re not all in the same camp when it comes to decorating for holidays/special occasions.

Which Camp Are You In?
1.) Super duper obsessed with PASSIONATE about every imaginable holiday. GO BIG OR GO HOME, you like to say.
2.) You love holidays and expressing yourself through your decor, but you wouldn’t say you go overboard (much).
3.) You decorate for all the big holidays, but the lesser ones? Not so much.
4.) You’re a pretty simple gal (or guy) when it comes to holidays. Less is more in your book.
5.) You don’t decorate a lick for any holiday. Bah humbug.

I won’t tell you which camp I’m in, because I want to be as neutral/empathetic as possible (but you might be able to guess).

So, let’s talk about this. I have some questions to get your mind churning.

1.) How many boxes of holiday decor do you have?
2.) How much of it do you (really truly) love?
3.) How much of it do you put out each year just because it’s part of a huge collection, not because you love it?
4.) How much of it did you buy, not because it was awesome, but because it was 90% off at Target on December 29?
5) How much of it is chipped, broken, not-functioning, smushed, missing pieces?
6.) How much of it is TACKY?
7.) How much of it is holiday-themed paper cups, plates, & napkins (that you seem to stockpile exponentially)?
8.) How much stress does this stuff cause you every year when you have to tear it all down/put it away?

I’m not going to tell you what to do, friends. I’m just going to suggest that you might find some mighty sweet freedom in letting a little (or more preferably, A LOT) of this stuff go.

Traditions and memories are wonderful. Stress and excess and unnecessary spending and all that jazz? Are not.

Get rid of the decorations that are blah and so-so and void-of-meaning and over-the-top, and you will fall so much more in love with the special, beautiful ones you have left.

I promise you.

Today’s Baby Step Challenge:
Purge 15 pieces of holiday decor.

Today’s Little-Bit-Bigger Challenge:
Purge a heck of a lot more than that.

Today’s Big Daddy Challenge:
Gather all your holiday decor in one place. Count your boxes. Decide that you are going to keep only what can fit in X amount of boxes (choose a number much smaller than the current one). Purge like CRAZY. Stick to your guns. Be FREE!

A Challenge for the Future:
When the next big holiday rolls around, instead of buying new cute stuff, be content with what you have, and donate the $ you would have spent on decorations to a family in need. 

Hopefully you all still love me (especially my sweet Southern friends who are more naturally inclined to fall into Camp #1).

I can’t wait to hear what you tossed/donated/sold! And how your newfound freedom feels! Should I award a prize for the tackiest decoration??

36 thoughts on “seasonal stash {enough, day 5}

  1. Pingback: $3 christmas! | Marla Taviano

  2. Alex

    Two boxes and a tree. And that also includes my three Thanksgiving decorations and outside lights. We move a lot (military) and holiday decore, as beautiful as it is, is not what what I want counting towards my weight limit with the Army. I need to get rid of toys and extra bedding. I have a hard time letting go of good, functioning toys, especially gifts. I also love bedding and we have 4 different sizes beds. Fail. My next purge will be baby gear, toys (hopefully), and bedding. This last move was insane and we didn’t even bring everything.

  3. Dorian

    Hi Marla! You might have guessed I’m a #4. I have 2 boxes…the same 2 boxes I’ve had for 25 years while the things inside have changed some. The only new things I ever purchase are replacement lights – we put 2 strands on the real tree – and Baby Jesuses. My girls made up a tradition of counting the Baby Jesuses. Everything does not come out of the boxes and if something has sat there a couple years, it’s pitched. We decorate the tree and one dresser top with Nativity scenes. A few masterpieces of the children’s creation will hang on doorknobs and doors. That’s about it. Tacky? It’s in the eye of the beholder. I have a Mickey Mouse 8 piece band that plays actual bells (not cheesy electronic) that I bought on CLEARANCE at Hill’s – yes, Hill’s, it’s that old – about 28 years ago and it still works and I STILL LOVE IT. It plays 25 traditional carols and sounds a bit like handbells. We keep it pretty simple and focus on the miracle of the Baby.

  4. Liesel

    I just found you today, but I am going to join in! I’m probably in camp #4, but I still have 2 whole tubs of Christmas stuff, most of which was hand me downs, and stuff I don’t love. I’ve been thinking about purging that stuff since Christmas when I put it all away, and this is the kick in the pants I needed! 🙂

  5. Pingback: how many hotel soaps?? {enough, day 6} | Marla Taviano

  6. Rebecca

    I am behind on my posting so here goes. Day 2 I got rid of a container full of sippy cups(who needs 20 sippy cups or a container to keep them in)? I have many other crates/containers to get rid of but my daughter is getting married in August so I’m giving them to her. Day 3 was hard. Yes, I do still listen to music from the eighties. That said I have put 25 CDs in the get rid of box! A day of rest on day 4 and for today we had a super suez tub of Halloween stuff. I got rid of almost everything except the stuff for class parties next year. I always buy on clearance the year before. I can’t get the Christmas tubs down myself but I will have my husband get them down soon so I can add to the pile. I’m loving this month!!!

  7. Lisa Basner

    I’m at number 4, but I don’t put out all my decorations. I need to get rid of the ones that inevitably stay in the box year after year. Another day, though – I put my back out this morning, so it’s put a damper on my purging. 🙁

  8. Brooke

    i’m pretty sure our neighbors hate us because we don’t fall in line with outdoor decorations. i’m actually a minimalist with decor. i have a ginormo christmas tree, a wreath, stockings, and pretty much nothing else. Christmas is the only holiday i decorate for. i feel like i get an A+ today for doing nothing. 😉

  9. Allison

    THANK YOU for this challenge today! I’m a 4. I put up the bare minimum for Christmas, and some years I put out a plaque in October/November that has to do with thankfulness. I honestly hate the disruption of decorating for Christmas, and do what I do “for the kids.”

    I go through the Christmas stuff each year as I am putting it up and taking it down, but it’s a little hard in the emotional environment of December to actually let go of things. Today though? In May? BAM!!!! Buh-BYE!

    I kept a few things because I know they mean something to my husband. More than I would keep it it were just me 🙂 I got rid of one whole box of stuff, and changed one of the other boxes into a slightly smaller box. AND I cleared out some things from another non-holiday container and got rid of 98% of my artwork saved from high school that I will never ever ever do anything with. Big sigh of happiness………

  10. Tsh Oxenreider

    I’m most definitely a 4. Every year when I pack things up post-holidays I let go of more and more, but I dig the idea of doing it around now, nowhere near the holiday season. Feels like emotional or something. I don’t have much to purge, but seeing as we’re doing a massive purge right now, we’ll get to that stuff sometime over the month, and I’m happy to see lots go!

    1. Marla Taviano

      My most favorite Christmas ever was the one we spent in Cambodia in 2011. The following Christmas, I got rid of half of my decorations. The Christmas after that? All of them. 🙂

  11. Krista Phillips

    Oh my goodness. Honestly, the only holiday I decorate for is Christmas. i have a few little things for other ones, but usually I forget to even put it out (and I’m talking like, one thing, LOL.)

    But for christmas, i have quite a few boxes. Because it is the ONLY holiday I decorate for, I do like to “go big”, but even that is much less than most people.

    and oh yeah. it’s tacky. I grew up with a mom who was a decorator—everything was decorated with the “in” colors that year— at the time it was like peach and mauve and crud like that. Who decorates Christmas in Peach and Mauve?????

    I swore that when I grew up, my kids would have a FUN house on christmas. So we are all about fun decorations! Lots of lights, but lots of memories too. Our nativity is our original from Scott and I’s first Christmas, even though a wiseman or two have glued on heads (one that still topples over at least once a year.)

    What takes up the MOST room, though, are my bears. In 1996, my mom got me a Snowflake Christmas bear. Those kinds you seen in Walmart with the year on their foot. I had always wanted one, my one “fun” thing for Christmas instead of my mom’s boring decorations. i LOVED that stinkin’ bear, slept with it all year long, and then requested another one every year. When I got married, my hubby carried on the tradition.

    So yes, I have a LOT of giant stuff bears. They are displayed in every nook and cranny and couch in our living room and even some in our dining room because there isn’t enough room. I like them because the are “YES” touches for the kids. They are sat on, thrown, and even occasionally put into a pile and jumped on. They are meant for FUN, not for “look at.”

    I rarely buy new decorations. Only when light sets burn out or something actually COOL shows up on that 90% off table.

    I have no clue which park this puts me in. LOL. And at the moment, you could not pay me enough money to haul out those boxes to sift through them. Maybe in November…. but not now. LOL.

    1. Marla Taviano

      I had one of those bears. 🙂 And my best friend’s mom (growing up) decorated different rooms in her house with different color schemes for Christmas. I remember a peach/mauve tree. 🙂 (Be sure to report back in when November comes and you clear some stuff out.) 🙂

  12. RoseAnne

    Hi, I found your Enough challenge through a mutual friend (Lisa B) this weekend, and so very glad I did. I have a few days to catch up on now, but thanks to today’s challenge I think I can do it. I’m a number 4 above and have little I need to purge in that way – I probably could get rid of some tree ornaments we have accumulated over the years, but that’s about it. My only other decorations are nativity sets I’ve been collecting from different countries we’ve traveled to, and I’m not parting with those. 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      Welcome, RoseAnne! Any friend of Roomie’s (Lisa’s) is a friend of mine! 🙂 I would LOVE to hear about the countries you’ve been to and have nativity sets from! (I love the world!) (sorry for all the exclamation points) !!

      1. RoseAnne

        Hi Marla,
        Currently I have nativity sets from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, and Hungary, all of which we traveled to on mission trips. We’ve also been to Peru (mission trip) and Switzerland (25th anniversary) before I started collecting.

  13. Jill Foley

    I’m number 4…and each year I decorate less and less. I have pared down my decorations considerably, keeping only what I love. I had a great nativity set, but realized one year how much all the pieces cluttered up my space, so I pared it down to just Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Might have a kept a sheep or two…

    I love using nature to decorate….a pot of tulip bulbs in the spring can be transplanted to the yard in the fall. Picking up pine cones while hiking and then creating a garland becomes a school activity which can be tossed out when the season is over. None of the nature decorations need to be stored – they can be composted or planted outside.

    I also like decorations that do double duty…I have a beautiful cradle to cross wreath from Ann Voskamp’s son that is used to count down the days of advent and lent.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Your nativity scene story makes a great analogy. 🙂 And I like the nature idea! Our neighbor girl keeps bringing me flowers (and weeds) and asking me to put them in the little paper Easter bunny box she gave me a couple weeks ago. 🙂

  14. Joy

    I am a four, and my husband could care less. 🙂 We have one small printer paper box of Christmas deco and my father in law recently made me a wooden “tree” to hang our special ornaments on. I would like a nativity scene (I know, get rid of stuff), I grew up with a nativity scene that my parents painted and it was really special. We put up a few things this last Christmas but the years before that I didn’t do anything. There are some ornaments I think I will get rid of, when I find the box.

  15. Beth

    Preach!!! This is an easy one for me. I hate clutter, have very limited space to put any decorations out in our small apartment, and have a VERY naughty, nimble cat who breaks/messes with every piece of decor I put out. My favorite thing about Christmas is the twinkle lights, and the smell of the tree. I kept the ornaments that were meaningful gifts (First Christmas together, etc.), and the Charlie Brown Christmas figurines, and some twinkle lights. One box, that’s it. Enough to decorate one small (4-5′) tree. I got rid of all the generic glass balls and in-process crafts and maybe-if-I-had-a-mantle stuff.

    Idea for a future post – how to get your family on the same page, and/or how to encourage others to purge without being a nuisance or a jerk.

    1. Marla Taviano

      It’s easy for me too. And I don’t even have a naughty cat. 🙂 Great idea for a future post. Lots of people have suggested it, so I’ll be sure to address it (but it’s so hard!).

  16. Alicia

    Let me start by saying that I am NOT a fan of holiday and/or seasonal decor. If I have to put it up and take it down more than once a year then it does not belong in my house. Before kids, I was at a 5. It was lovely. Now, however, my kids really like to decorate at Christmas, so we have a small fake tree, a box of ornaments, and a nativity set. I guess that makes me a 4? They are happy and it’s easy to manage and clean up only took me 2 hours last year so I guess I can’t complain about that too much. Oh, and Christmas is the only holiday that we have any decor for.

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I’m with ya, sista’. I felt a little bad writing this post because it’s so easy for me to not have holiday decor (not a fan), but I know so many people love it. How would I feel if I had to get rid of my globes/maps? (eek!)

  17. cyndee

    I think I’m somewhere between camps 2 and 3. Definitely love decorating for Christmas and Easter, but don’t do much for anything else. I have an angel collection that takes up 2 large shelves at Christmas and last year decided to pare it down. Couldn’t do it. I knew each one’s history and just couldn’t stand to part with any of them! Hubs and I were just in the attic the other day though, and definitely need to do some purging up there! Maybe some holiday decs will find their way to the curb then. 🙂

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