Yesterday was the 12th and final day of Christmas, and the day I took down my christmas decorations. To me, nothing symbolizes the end of the holiday season, and the start of the new year quite like taking down the Christmas decorations. It feels like wiping the slate clean, beginning anew, and a great time to initiate new and better habits. While I, like many people, want to eat healthy and exercise more in 2013, what I want to do more than anything else is reduce the physical and mental clutter in my life. I started this year, by eliminating some of the clutter in my christmas decor.

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When my husband and I first got married we had virtually no christmas decorations. I made some bows for the doors, and bought a box of miniature ball shaped christmas ornaments for our 1 foot tall tree. Our collection of Christmas decorations has grown since then, and on this, our 8th married christmas, I lugged out of the garage 4 large storage containers of decorations, 1 small storage container of christmas decorations, a wreath box, and 2 small artificial christmas trees (a larger artificial tree stayed in the garage).

A few years ago I began to realize that not all of the decorations came out of all of the boxes every year, so I started removing those that were never used from our collection. The problem is that we continued to receive more decorations every year, and the net result was still addition to the collection, rather than subtraction. This year I was far more radical in my culling and I am proud to say that 1 large store box, 1 small storage box, and a large artificial christmas tree will not be making their way back into my garage this year!

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This is how I did it;
First I eliminated all of those decorations that were never used, and I didn’t really care for. These were often those decorations given to me at the beginning of my marriage by friends or relatives that knew I had few christmas decorations. These were generally cast offs from their own collections, given to help me start my own.

Next, I eliminated those decorations that I liked, but were not used either because they didn’t match the rest of my decor, or I never had occasion to use them. For instance, my family rarely drinks tea, so a tea pot shaped like a gingerbread house, while adorable, was not a useful part of my collection.

Next, I eliminated those decorations that were unused, but had been hanging around since childhood. These were some of the ornaments I had made in elementary school that were not special, and I had no attachment to, they were simply there, because they had always been there.

Last, I took a hard look at the remaining decorations. Everything that didn’t make me smile or feel warm and fuzzy inside, Everything that didn’t have meaning and purpose, was then eliminated.

I was left boxes full of objects that I have for a reason, they are special, meaningful, useful, and beautiful, and I know I will be happy to see the contents of these boxes next year!

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