Holiday Downsizing: The Santa Collection

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Mantel

As a girl, I’d hear older women say, “I’m not decorating much this year” or “I’m not bothering with a tree.”

What?

Who doesn’t want to decorate for Christmas? Who doesn’t want to put up a tree? For the life of my six-year-old self, I didn’t get it. But oh my golly, do I get it now!

And so last week, about thirty-five Santas in my collection took a sleigh ride to Goodwill.

“Will you get these out right away?” I asked the young man who helped me carry them into the store.

“This afternoon,” he answered.

I hope my Santas will have a holly jolly Christmas in homes all over Hillsborough. I kept about twenty. Three grace my mantel this season along with Santa postcards my mom bought years ago.

Grandma's Santa

And that’s it for indoor Christmas at our house. Years ago, there was barely a surface not festooned for the holidays. Our ten foot tree took me four-plus days to complete. And I spent a chunk of January packing it all up again.

The next time we host the family Christmas extravaganza or a holiday party, I’ll pull out all the Christmas stops! I’ve got lots of boxes left in the attic.

But this year, my simple Christmas has put a ho ho ho into my heart in a way I never could have understood at age six.

What about you? Have you pared down your holiday decorating?

27 responses »

  1. Definitely! I was so burned out by years of decorating, “de-decorating”, cooking, buying presents, and cleaning that I am permanently downsizing Christmas. My own fault – I should have kept it simple years ago but it’s hard not to go overboard. No more!!

  2. I have never been one to go all out for Christmas–just a Christmas tree and a few other decorations.
    But this year I didn’t even want to put up a tree. I did put one up as my grown son wanted one, but I have started going through all my other bags and boxes of ornaments and am paring them down. Most of the decorations haven’t been used in years. I am trying to keep the ones that are my kid’s as well as some family ones they might want. But I am thinking this is the last year for a big tree–time for a table-top one. It was a chore to get it and decorate it this year, but I do enjoy sitting with the lights out and looking at it.

  3. I keep trying to pare down but hubby’s inner 6 year old is balking. He puts up a train layout and Christmas village that keeps growing but we’ve dropped the tree thing because there is only so much room available and I don’t enjoy it. I still set up several nativity scenes and some greenery, candles etc but like keeping it simple. My mom never did much at all so I didn’t grow up with much decor and no tree at all. We had other traditions that were meaningful, though. I don’t feel cheated – in fact I think my mom was on to something!

    • Gosh would my grandson Mazen love the train layout.Cliff has American Flyer trains but they have not chugged on any tracks since we’ve been married. Hope that will change when Maze gets a bit older.

  4. Your Santa’s are wonderful, Unique collection. If you are downsizing, plenty of underserved children would enjoy the ordinary ones.Have a great holiday ans a healthful, happy, prosperous, andpeaceful New Year

  5. Can we talk? I mean this empty nest crap is for the birds! I have 2 children. My oldest moved out almost 10 years ago and has 4 children and I am still not over her leaving!! My youngest is 23 and when he moved out the nest was completely empty and made me really not know what my purpose was in life. Raising kids and celebrating everything with kids was all I knew. My daughter and grandchildren live 8 hours away and we don’t always see them for Christmas. When they are at my house, the grandkids decorate our tree and we have so much fun doing all sorts of Christmas traditions. But, on the years I am home without them, I have no desire to put up anything Christmas-y and it feels like something is always missing. Because there is… my kids! I don’t like this stage of life nearly as well and the mothering years. I wonder if I will ever feel quite the same way about holidays as I did when the kids were at home. I have started putting lights up outside for the kids on our block to enjoy rather than anything inside that would basically just be for us since nobody is around to see it :-). Can any of you guys relate???

    • Penny, I think it’s a great idea to put up light for the kids on the block. Could you have them in for a cookie party? Mine would have loved that and I was always so touched, many years ago, when people with grown kids would show interest in mine.

  6. Oh my goodness since the children have grown, gone, and have their own families I certainly have pared down!
    I am torn with emotions though, sometimes I am so sad of not having the kids home to decorate with, or to share childhood traditions with, and other times I feel less cluttered and I like the simplicity!
    I think this is just another part of this “stage” in life we go through.
    And Barbara I too remember being young and not understanding ladies saying they didn’t want a tree or didn’t want to bother decorating and thought that was absurd! Now, I am one of those ladies!

    • Yep. I’m one of those ladies too, but I am definitely enjoying my santas on my mantel (as they always went in a different location). We’re having a very simple Christmas (kids are off other places). Not sure yet how it’s going to go, but I’m definitely enjoying the lack of pressure to cook/clean/entertain/negotiate and everything else that family get togethers include!

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