Minimalists: What's your take on seasonal decorations? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Because they drive me crazy. Maybe I'm a party-pooper, but my kids want to decorate for every holiday from groundhogs day to you name it, and right now my mom is giving them half of her Easter decorations to put up here. It's not that I don't celebrate or bake or have any decorations, but I think it's a little outta hand. I know, they're harmless, but I just reogranized our basement storage and we have like 5 boxes of xmas stuff alone and all I want at xmas is a tree and some ornaments. We also have Halloween stuff, etc. I really feel like it's just....clutter. In fact I'm about to get rid of quite a bit of it so we can fit an extra freezer down there.

Can't we just bake some cupcaks and hang up our own cut out easter eggs???

What's your take on this stuff? Do you limit it? Store it? Omit it?
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#2 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I'm not a minimalist, would be a nice thing to be though and I am slowly getting there but for decorations... phooy. really they are neat, I like to see other folks who have decorated their houses and yards but for me, nope, I don't do it other than the typical christmas tree thing and maybe a turkey at thanksgiving made out of an apple. Oh I guess we carve a pumpkin each year too, but it's not something that I will have to box up and store.

We celebrate different holidays and we do have easter baskets and halloween pumpkin basket thingy that I save and bring out to use each year but no house decorations.

(we do have a flag pole holder on the front of the house we just bought and when my broom wears out I'll probably make a pole and then sew a couple of flags, that's a huge step for me in my mind, haven't done it yet though)

that said remember all you folks reading this that do decorate, don't take my view and stop decorating because I do like to look at things like that... there is a house right down the street, it is so cute with all the eggs and bunnies and chicks they have scattered around the yard, I just can't see myself actually doing that.
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#3 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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I HATE seasonal decorations because I would freak out if I had to store them!

For Halloween, we cut down about 12 of our corn stalks, dried them and put them by the door (tied with raffia) and put out a few pumpkins. We took a bit of cotton fluff to make spider webs on the bushes (which, when done, can be tied to a tree and birds will use it for their nests). Switching out light bulbs is a fun idea, those can be kept with the normal light bulbs when not in use.

Christmas gets paper chains and paper snowflakes that can be recycled. I do have 3 bins of Christmas stuff but it's mostly tree decor/lights and stockings/holders. I like taking in pine branches (from our yard) and using those. Poinsettias and cranberries are great too.


I do not decorate for Easter (unless you count the religious items already in my house). The kids' baskets are usable items - sand pails, decorative baskets, batters helmets - that are gifts in themselves.

Thanksgiving is a carry-over from Halloween - corn stalks and pumpkins but then I add tons of dried leaves (from the yard).

Valentine's Day - nope. We just do a lot of baking and make cards.

Anyway, no, we're not big decorators. We use outside stuff and colors to honor the seasons, not really the actual holidays themselves. We use a lot of craft items and make stuff but not much we hold on to.

HTH.

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#4 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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The color of the table cloth or a particular dish/service piece may represent the holiday or the season.


Things from the yard or the farmers' market are displayed and then added to compost after the holiday/season. Easter eggs that we dye together we eat, they aren't saved...

If children want to decorate, I would perhaps emphasize the creation or craft of the decoration - the process not so much as the product. The product may or may not be kept for the next year.

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#5 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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We make paper and cardboard decorations for Christmas as well as use a box of tree decorations I keep in the basement. For Easter I have just 2 decorations and a bag of eggs that get reused year after year. Halloween we all love so we have 2 boxes of decorations.

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#6 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Can you designate one spot that gets decorated each season, limit the things to a certain size of box and let them choose? Maybe the double shoebox size of box (one for each event), and the mantelpiece, or the landing strip, or make a designated altar-ey type of spot on or around a bookshelf.
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#7 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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Other than Halloween and Christmas, I mostly get or make paper cutouts and tape them to the front window. Easy to store. So that would be snowflakes for winter (January), hearts for Valentines, shamrocks for St. Pat's, eggs for Easter, flower for May, flag for 4th of July. Yeah, we decorate most of the year, my kids love it. Most of my friends know my house is the one with the window decorations.

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#8 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 05:09 PM
 
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i tend to use things from nature (so, right now we have a vase of pussywillows that we gathered from the back yard, very springy) and would put up a couple of handmade items when my kids are older and into that. the only seasonal/holiday decorations i have are a 3' tinsel tree & 1 box of ornaments/lights, which i'm seriously considering getting rid of, but that's for religious reasons, not decluttering, lol.
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#9 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree. Nothing like a real wreath on the door or real pumpkin at the table!
I just got rid of a bunch of stuff. Still a decent amount- 1 smallish box if halloween costumes (seriously, my kids wear the same ones, they don't even know they get to choose ) and 2 boxes of xmas lights and a few things. I'd like it to be even less actually. I'm just sick of the STUFF. yk?
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#10 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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I'm not a minimalist, but thought I'd chime in.

When they are small they LOVE all the decorations and maybe it makes things so much more festive for the young ones.

I do understand wanting to keep it under control. I really do.

But...they grow up so fast and before you know it, they don't care so much anymore, you can slowly get rid of the extra decorations you don't like and eventually they will move away, start families of their own...and if you are lucky, they will take some of your old decorations with them when they leave!

Just saying, there will be plenty of time later to keep it simple if your little ones now LIKE all the fuss of holiday decorating.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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#11 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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I thought of another idea - plant flowers. It's great family time and you reap the benefits!

DH planted dozens and dozens of bulbs a while back and tomorrow afternoon I'm going to cut down all of the daffodils (they're the only ones ready) and place them around the house in vases. Very Easter-y/Spring-y and will make a great centerpiece for brunch on Sunday.

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#12 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post

We use outside stuff and colors to honor the seasons, not really the actual holidays themselves. We use a lot of craft items and make stuff but not much we hold on to.
Yes, this.

I endeavor to be (relatively) minimalist not only because I don't want a lot of stuff/clutter but because I don't want unneccessary stuff to be important. I do think observing and honoring the seasons, festivals, etc is really important. Which is why we try to focus on activities over simply decorating. Many of our activities result in having some kind of decoration, but to me that's a secondary benefit.

I have a shoe box - well, it held boots so it isn't tiny - of Christmas tree decorations and stockings (I made many of the ornaments and all of the stockings), and that's it for what I store. I also have a plain grapevine wreath which gets different embellishments according to the season. Everything else is compostable (carved pumpkins, ornamental gourds, popcorn/cranberry garlands, flowers or branches in a jug), edible (a bowl of seasonal fruit, gingerbread houses, dyed eggs), or recyclable (paper snowflakes).

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#13 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that was really well said! Exactly how I've been feeling about it.
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#14 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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I don't like them either -- it is just more work to put them out and more work to put them away (not to mention the amout of space they take up). We have a few easter baskets we use for the kids for Easter, we have a few Christmas decorations and ornaments, we don't have any other decorations for holidays.

I do have some little flags I can change out in the yard. I have one for the different seasons and some holidays. Honestly, I haven't changed mine in about 8-9 months. I used to -- but life is busy now.
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#15 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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Minimalist here! I think food is a great way to celebrate a holiday, because it's eaten and there's no storage!

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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#16 of 27 Old 04-10-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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other than christmas we decorate for the seasons and not necessarily the actual holidays. and i much prefer to use natural materials rather than cluttery crap.

we do get pretty festive at christmas time as we have the tree and a christmas village that we put out......and our nativity. we also put icicle lights up outside.

halloween is mainly pumpkins and some orange and purple twinkle lights strung in the windows.

other than the kid's birthday's we don't really decorate for the other holidays.

we are slowly becoming MUCH more on the minimalistic/modern side of design.......and as we remodel each room in our home we are getting rid of more and more "stuff".

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#17 of 27 Old 04-11-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post
Minimalist here! I think food is a great way to celebrate a holiday, because it's eaten and there's no storage!
ditto.

Its also fun to prepare, plan and then eat as a feast. Which most holidays are centered around anyhow.


And yes, I do not like holiday decorations either.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#18 of 27 Old 04-11-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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I'm not one to decorate. I do a little nature table on my fireplace mantel. I like that. But beyond wreaths outside & lights on the porch at Christams, and some carved pumpkins at Halloween, I reley on my mantel.

And I am more for cooking...although my kids want to dye easter eggs...and I am all blah about that.
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#19 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 02:06 AM
 
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Not one to decorate much here either.

We have a tree at Christmas and a wreath at the door. I have a few felted Easter eggs that we put out in a little basket. I display corn cobs and gourds in the fall.

I have been trying to do a little nature table (more like a tray) each season. Then the stuff gets put out into the yard or compost when we're done with it.

I also have one of the birthday rings like those on Nova Naturals, with many wooden "ornaments" that fit into it. So I use that a lot for holidays - today we put in the ornaments that were springy like butterfly, flower, ladybug, etc.

I abhor anything kitschy, but of course the kids love it. They get their fill at the neighbor's house, though.
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#20 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 03:17 AM
 
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we don't decorate here either. I do have a nature table of sorts and we will do seasonal based crafts rather than holidays themselves. We have no minimal storage, so only have Christmas decorations permanently - everything else is nature or one-off craft based.

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#21 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 05:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post
Minimalist here! I think food is a great way to celebrate a holiday, because it's eaten and there's no storage!
Well I'm not admiting to what my scale is reading! I have storage!!
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#22 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 06:08 AM
 
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We are minimalists. We put up a Christmas tree, stockings and a few hanging things and that is it. I don't decorate for other holidays and didn't have an x-mas tree until dd was born.

I HATE knick-knacks and clutter and I see plastic and paper decorations as clutter.

Let them eat cake!!! Bah, humbug!
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#23 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hate knick knacks too. With more kids I want even less stuff around and my style preferences are getting even more minimalist or modern. I still have some xmas decorations, but I cut it down a lot. I lhave a bunch of folksy swedish ones that I think are quite cute and I've had forever, so it makes it hard. But more and more it's all just looking like made in china crap to me. I was relieved when there was nothing to take down after Easter. I have enough to do in general. I was getting resentful of the idea that I'm a party pooper, but it might be self-imposed. I only heard it from my mom. At times I feel like it's enough "work" just getting around to baking or coming up with extra crafts with them . I'm not even religious either, though dh and extended family are, so that comes into it as well. But I like the idea of celebrating the seasons more. I am very eager to begin gardening with them.
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#24 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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When they are small they LOVE all the decorations and maybe it makes things so much more festive for the young ones.

I do understand wanting to keep it under control. I really do.

But...they grow up so fast and before you know it, they don't care so much anymore, you can slowly get rid of the extra decorations you don't like and eventually they will move away, start families of their own...and if you are lucky, they will take some of your old decorations with them when they leave!
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#25 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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My goal is to have 2-4 things for each holiday/season.

1. A wreath for the front door
2. A wall hanging inside the house
3. Maybe a little "statue" thingy- like a bunny statue for spring
4. Maybe a tablerunner for the kitchen table.

My goal is to have them all fit in 1 or 2 rubbermaids so that I can easily swap out the holiday stuff without having to search and dig through 47 boxes.

Editted to add: the wall hanging and tablerunner are generally things I sew myself. Like a small quilt basically.

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#26 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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I have some ceramic decorations that my grandmother made and passed down to me when she died. Probably 2 each for Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and a few seasonal ones. They all fit in a large rubbermaid container wrapped in bubble wrap and nestled in shredded paper. Aside from those I do pumpkins for Halloween and Christmas lights and stockings and of course the tree. And that's about it. I like the simplicity of only having a few things to switch out and put away.
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#27 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I don't do any seasonal decorations. I just have a few flowers/plants and the odd little piece here and there

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