‘Tis the season of excess. From multiple rounds of shopping, hosting, and feasting, there is no other time of year that begets so much STUFF, whether it’s in the form of new outfits, new decorations, or new assorted paraphernalia.
I personally lack storage space for bins filled with holiday merry making supplies. And so, in an effort to save both space and sanity, I’ve devised a few ways to keep it simple and fit all of my Christmas cheer in a shoebox under the sofa.
Resist The Urge
I am a person who loves to shop. But limited space (and cash) requires me to show some restraint this time of year. Holiday parties on the calendar? Wear the same outfit more than once, especially if they are all with different groups of people. Want to switch up the look of your tree this year? Re-purpose a basket you already have in lieu of a tree skirt. The key is to look at what you already have before even thinking about stepping foot in a store. I promise you already have more than enough.
Keep It Natural
I try to focus my decorating efforts around items that can be composted at the end of the season. This frees up storage space and keeps waste down to a minimum. In addition to my (small) live Christmas tree and red berries, this year I found a 6 foot strand of live pine garland at Trader Joe’s for $4.99. I used it to spruce up my mantle and frame the arch that separates the kitchen and living room space.
DIY Good And Often
There’s something about the holidays that gets my DIY juices flowing. Upon returning home with a box of clearance rack ornaments, I realized that I didn’t have any ornament hooks. Instead of rushing out to the store, I simply tied a piece of twine to each and hung them up that way. Handmade items also make lovely gifts that are often less wasteful and more meaningful than their store bought counterparts. I’m partial to whipping up some sort of baked good or a homemade sugar or salt scrub (more to come on these later!)
Learn To Say No
The holidays can be hard on your time and your budget, and while this time of year is wonderful, it can also be stressful. Be realistic about which parties you want to attend, what gifts you can give, and other activities you can afford. Fit in budget friendly merriment by hosting a potuck instead of a dinner out. Do a good old Secret Santa gift exchange instead of buying a list full of gifts. And look to your neighborhood for free holiday fun opportunities, like a walk in the snow with homemade hot chocolate.
Photos by Emily Barbeau