The newest craze all around is minimalism, decluttering and living smaller. But it seems all of that goes out the window when Christmas comes around. I can’t say I’m on board with any of those crazes, but I live in a small house and nanny 2-3 kids in my small home. At the height of my day, my 1000 sq foot home is filled with 5-8 people and all the noise, mess and clutter that comes with it. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I get a bit afraid come Christmas – because it seems to be a clutter trap. And before you name me a ba-hum-bug please hear me out… Can’t we celebrate without all the clutter?
The issue of Christmas Clutter starts with Exploring Christmas Traditions
- Christmas Trees
- We’ve tried tiny trees, felt trees, fake trees (this year we might brave a real tree).
- Nativity Sets
- There have been beany nativities
- Antique nativities (insert sigh as I swept the pieces away from an overly excitable dog accident),
- Hallmark Nativities (my fav so far.)
- The Shepherd on the Search Set
- Christmas Trees
The kids Christmas Gifts
- We’ve tried the 3 gifts each fad
- An equal number of gifts
- 1 large gift, and stocking size gifts… still working that one out so we don’t go broke
Family Christmas Gifts and Christmas Crafts
- We’ve tried buying for everyone, buying just for the kids, Homemade gifts
Family Christmas Parties
- Some years we gather here with my side, there with his side – Once everyone was together (whew that’s a lot of people!)…
- Christmas Caroling
- We’ve met in groups for our neighborhood, at church to carol the workers, practiced to carol the hospital and nursing home nearby.
- Random Acts of Kindness
- some years we make cards for the neighbors, others we tried baked goods (I am so not a cook), recently we’ve settled on crafts to love on our neighbors
Speaking of gifts and cards for neighbors. We love making gifts and labeling them. I’d love to give you a set of Christmas Labels Free!
Each year we work hard to weave Christ through the center of our Christmas. Celebrating the miracle of His birth, basking in the wonder of the gift He brought by humbly stepping into human flesh to save a lost world.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
It is wonderful, awe-inspiring, filled with more memories than I could ever dream we would embrace.
And when January comes my house is destroyed, clutter-filled, overrun with trinkets and candy wrappers and pine needles, lost tinsel, garland strands… and so many toys I can’t take it all in.
Do you ever just groan as we near Christmas – knowing the Clutter trap is coming?
But what do we do about it? Christmas gifts are meant to be all in good fun given with love. I don’t want to be a Scrooge – yelling at well-meaning relatives to stop buying messy loud toys for my kids. They love us, we love them and no one means to add stress to anyone’s world.
Our house is overrun with toys as it is.
- My kids have more Lego sets than I can justify – built then destroyed and never rebuilt again…
And most of the time they will play with the BOX longer than the toys! Who else?
You could supply half of Africa with the toys my kids no longer play with. Can you relate? If I’m honest the same could be said for my closet, kitchen gadget closet and hubby’s shed!
I have spent most of this year purging the house and trying to convince everyone to give away what we’ve outgrown… and now this. More stuff coming into the house.
There is nowhere to store the toys and gadgets we already have – and rarely use.
Come January I will have to buy new bins to organize and store all the stuff that comes in – lovingly – from Christmas with family.
My kids will Love what they are given – refuse to part with it. When arms are missing, shoes separated and clothes destroyed – they will still insist on keeping it because it was given to them.
Isn’t there another way to show love at Christmas Time?
And can we talk – just for a minute about the Anxiety that comes this time of year? I’d love to give you this Free 40 Day reading and Journaling Plan that helps me through those hard seasons.
But. Can I just say… maybe this is not the place, but maybe it is… And maybe there’s a solution to the Clutter Trap this Christmas… Maybe it would start with an honest answer to that question they will ask me soon…
“What is on the kids Christmas lists this year?”
Dear well meaning relative who buys gifts for my family at Christmas,
Let me begin by saying I love you dearly. I know you love me and our children so much. Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. Gifts are customary… I know I know you are showing love when you buy and give gifts.
You ask, “What is on the kids Christmas lists this year?” Yes, they have a list – they always will.
But do you know what they would rather have? Something you can’t really put under a tree in a box or a bag…
My children would love to spend time with you.
- Maybe take them to a movie or bowling.
- Pick them up for an afternoon out – your choice!
- Or come over and just hang out – no agenda required.
- The girls would gladly fix your hair or paint your nails or fashion a tea party and giggle and smile for an hour easy.
They will love anything you give them – honestly – but they would love to spend time with you more than anything else.
Could I suggest you give them a card with a date written on it – schedule it out and make a plan together? It would make their day!
I know I know I know, it’s Christmas, they need a present. What kid wouldn’t be disappointed if there wasn’t a new toy under the tree?
Maybe set them up with a monthly box kit – have them call you when it arrives and plan your time around it?
Tinker Crates has boxes to build and explore (Everything is in the box you need to do the project – and it’s simple enough anyone can do the project.)
Kiwi has monthly Science Projects boxes by age and interests (Everything included – and easy to do)
Doodle has Art Projects by age and interest (This one looks like fun – to create using a different style of art each month)
We can’t wait to see you real soon 😉 !
Maybe there’s a way to celebrate Christmas without all of the clutter… Maybe there’s not. Honestly, I imagine we’ll be talking about decluttering again in January – ideal ways to store things and still enjoy our family in our home. But hey, it’s worth a try 😉
I’d love to know how you celebrate Christmas. Do you have a family tradition? Are there way’s you’ve found to avoid all the clutter but still enjoy the wonder of the season? Drop me a comment and let me know!