Today is the day that traditionally is marked for taking down the Christmas decorations and ending the season. This year it happens to coincide with the date that some children are going back to school, which could possibly make the process easier. However, I can tell you that one year I seized an opportunity when my toddlers were out of the house, and I took down the tree. When the kids returned I was informed that She Who Takes The Christmas Tree, is, by definition, The Grinch.

And since we celebrate the spirit of Christmas every day, I do not really want to go from All Christmas to No Christmas. Instead, I suggest the following approach.

Take down your decorations that are specific to Christmas (Santas, stockings) and change your decorating theme to one of winter. A snowman or snowflake theme, for example. But maybe leave a very special Christmas decoration to have a year-round place of honor. I know for some people this is the tree itself – a year-round Christmas tree. If you have the space to do this, go for it! But if a year-round tree is not your style, you might still enjoy letting some smaller Christmas-themed decoration stick around all year. We have a beautiful faux, snow-flocked tree and my family considered whether we might leave it up and change the decorations seasonally, or not. We finally decided to put the tree away for the rest of January and then get it out again in February to do a Valentine tree. However, after the ordeal of putting the tree back in its box, we are having second thoughts about that. Perhaps a smaller Valentine tree is in order. We will see…

If you have a real tree or wreath, and you’re ready to take it down, I’m sure it’s shedding pine needles like crazy. Maybe save some of the pine needles, as next week I will share a vintage craft for drawer sachets stuffed with dry pine needles from your tree.

If you have Christmas lights (fairy lights) hanging indoors, consider leaving them up this month (if you don’t do that already). I have a white string of lights hanging from my fireplace mantel. The soft light they give off at night is too pretty to ever take down. So I just change out the color scheme throughout the year. I have some lovely pastel lights that I purchased at Easter time that I hang up in spring. Then I switch to red, white, and blue lights in summer and orange lights in fall. I even have a string of tiny black lights that are fun for Halloween.

Also, when you take down your outdoor lights, consider moving a string to your backyard instead of putting all the exterior lights in storage.

Yesterday I did not mention any prep work for this week. You may want pears and oranges on your grocery list. On Friday I am sharing a recipe for roasted pears, and on Saturday I will show how I dried orange slices to make a doorknob decoration. We received both pears and oranges as Christmas gifts, so I had some handy to try out some new things. The rest of this week, and indeed most of January, will mostly be prompts related to journaling, planning, and organizing, as is typical this time of year. Have a great week!

(Image credit: Terri Cnudde)

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