I'm downsizing at the same time, and so far I've cut about 1/4 of what I have. That's not enough. I want/need to cut it in half. But I'm also not finished yet. There is still about 1/4 of what I own that I haven't been through yet. I'm hoping that I can manage to get rid of most of it ... whatever it is.
I've already thrown out the old glass balls that are crackled or tarnished with age. Ornaments that were not in shape for hand on were tossed, too. I saved just a few things to pass on to the children, if they want them, relics from their grandparents or great-grandparents.
I was pleasantly surprised with the relative ease that I've had with the decisions of keeping or not. My tree and most of my other decorations have always been purchased and displayed with children in mind. At first it was my own kids when they were young and at home, then later it was for the grandchildren. Now my grandchildren live far enough away that they aren't necessarily around at Christmas. I can decorate for me.
I began a tradition about 20 years ago. Each year, right after Christmas, I buy a Christmas ornament for each grandchild. Each one is chosen with a certain child in mind, so it is special. By buying them during the time when holiday items are 50% to 75% off, I can buy the nicer ones, ones that will last and be special for a long time. Then I put the child's name and the year (the upcoming year) on the ornament and tuck it away until I see them or I mail it to them before the following December. On the child's 22nd Christmas, they get a tree topper, completing a small collection of ornaments with which they can start out.
Each time I shop for the children, I usually find a couple or a half-dozen ornaments that I like for myself. Over the years my personal collection has obviously grown, and I've rotated older, tattered, scratched and cracked ornaments out of my collection. However, I usually get rid of fewer than I bring home, so the number of Christmas boxes has grown and grown. It has been hard to dispose of some of the old ones because of the sweet memories connected with them and because the children, grandchildren and I have looked at them and talked about them.
Some of these have never even been out of the bag or box, because I haven't decorated much, if any, for several years. My parents both passed away in 2000, so that Christmas was hard for me, as was the next. Then my husband's health gravely worsened and drained me of energy and time, so only minimal decorations were used. I can't remember if I put a tree up after 2002. So, many of the brand new decorations were simply packed away, and my opening of the totes and boxes in the last two days has been amazing. I didn't remember a lot of them.
As I unpacked them, I was struck with a trend that was going on, although it was not planned. Apparently my taste remained consistent from year to year, because without my realizing it, I had a whole new set of ornaments! Grown-up ornaments! Lots of gold, white and pale pink, all "soft," nostalgic and made of fabric with sequins, crystals, lace and feathers. Many angels are in the collection. And as I began unwrapping one after another, I realized that I don't need to decorate for the children. And I have everything I need for my own personal tree. A "girlie-girl" tree!
So the child-oriented things are going. The wooden rocking horses, the cloth clowns will be going to the thrift shop for someone else's enjoyment.
So ... as I have opened the boxes, the sorting was not hard to do. But the whole process is very time consuming. Everything has to be unwrapped, then hung or re wrapped. I've decorated the tree and most of the inside of the house. I've also begun on the outside, but it got too cold to continue with that, so tomorrow I'll get that underway. I don't know if I will be using all of the outside decorations (mostly lights), but I hope to be able to determine that and be able to get things out of here, less to deal with next year. Hurray!
My house is a wreck! I have boxes and totes everywhere still. I should be able to finish it up tomorrow, but for tonight, I will have to be careful if I get up in the night! I would do some pictures, but you still can't see the decorating for the clutter. No, you can't see the clutter! I will take pictures and post them here within a day or two. yes, I'll show you my girlie-girl tree! Be patient!
And for now, I need to get back to cleaning up the mess!
Life is beautiful!!!
And it gets better with every day!