Dealing with piles of Christmas decorations?

Christmas tree decorationsFrom Christmas to Christmas, we all tend to get more decorations.

For some of us, the kids make special things each year at school or are given their own Christmas ornament. People give ornaments as gifts, something pretty catches our eye or we ‘inherit’ things from our families.

However you collect them, your Christmas decoration collection probably grows every year.

What to do with those decorations?

It’s nice to keep all those decorations because they are all beautiful in their own way and may have sentimental value, too.

But let’s face it, storing them throughout the year can be challenging and there is only so much space on your Christmas tree…

So what do you do with those decorations?

I know some people like a stylish Christmas tree so only store selected items or buy a new set every year to match a theme.

Others are happy with a haphazard decoration style, so let the kids go wild with whatever they have, giving pride of place to items with sentimental value.

Even at 14 my daughter enjoys seeing the decorations she made in kinder and prep or at home with me, so I certainly keep the decorations my kids make. With 4 kids, though, the tree is filing up!

I often decorate a gum tree outside our house (choosing suitable decorations for the impact of weather of course so never child made ones) so that uses a few of our decorations. And I’m thinking of using a second tree this year!

54 Responses to Dealing with piles of Christmas decorations?

  • tajnz says:

    We decorate our Christmas tree with ornaments collected over the years. Every year we tend to buy one new decoration although sometimes I’ll receive a new one as a gift. Each decoration reminds me of a certain Christmas or evokes a different memory. There’s no real colour scheme but I love how colourful and cheerful it is.

    Perhaps a quarter of the decorations have been around since I was a child. I admit I have my favourites which I like to display prominently. I remember one year refusing to put away the large felt reindeer after Christmas. So now it has a prized position on my grandmother’s mantelpiece all year round. It makes me smile when I see it.

    I’m in my early twenties and like your daughter I still like to keep the ornaments I made when I was younger. 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I hear you, Tajnz – our tree has no scheme and is a chaotic mix of colours and styles every Christmas but that’s fun!

      I love that your Grandmother still has a reindeer on display all year because you didn’t want Christmas to end one year 🙂

  • mamaof6 says:

    My mom always used mine and my siblings crafts as decorations. We also each had a special ornament for each year that we would just add to the overly decorated tree. 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      So you just kept adding them to the tree, mamaof6?

      I’m just finding that our tree can’t hold them all anymore – and I with a two year old I know I have many more handmade decorations to come 🙂

  • GivingSpirit says:

    Is Love Santa on Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m loving reading all the Christmas recipes and stories – I want to start some new traditions as our new family when buba arrives next month.

  • I’ve been collecting Christmas ornaments since 1981. Each year I add at least one to the collection, so it’s been growing for 31 years. I’m not really into themed trees. I use as many from my collection that will fit on the tree each year. Some of the special ones, especially those that are fragile, I use as part of my table displays.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Wow, actively collecting Christmas ornaments for 31 years – good effort! I gather you have a few tabe displays as well as the tree to empty your decoration box?

  • beyre says:

    I live in a small home so there are not many places to decorate. Plus, the cats would destroy any Christmas tree or ornaments.

    However, if I did get overwhelmed with excess decorations, I would: a) donate them to the Salvation army, b) have a yard sale, and c) give as gifts.

    One day, I would love to have a home where I can truly decorate, as I would love to do the old English theme, very natural and cozy.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I hope you have some decorations up each year, Beyre as I think you’d be happy with them in your home – you just have to find the right depcrations and locations to remove the cats’ interest 🙂

  • palaciosv says:

    Throughout the years I weed out broken store bought items, but all the ones that were hand made or made specifically by my children, will never be thrown away. I used to have a bare tree by the time we had to put up the tree, but then the kids got older and so did my cats, so now I do have many more decorations to put up for the year, and luckily I have the space and the helpers(kids) to put everything up without stressing me out.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Very pleased to hear you have helpers for putting up Christmas decorations, palaciosv – it’s much more fun to do it together, isn’t it? As well as saving stress.

  • Metarex says:

    Those decorations will definitely pile up and it’s an interesting way of using the excess. Maybe donating or giving them away would be best if you really don’t want to throw it away and they take up too much room. I never had that problem as I don’t accumulate new ones each year.

  • Waynefire says:

    Decorating the Christmas tree is always a great thing to do and easily one of my favorites. I know my kids really love to help, but like you mentioned we have a pile of decorations and it grows each year! What is really sad is the decorations all have a special meaning to me and my wife so we will never get rid of any of them!

  • ACSAPA says:

    I originally started collecting one Christmas ornament a year when I was single. But now that I have a 14 year old daughter, I’ve accumulated several boxes of ornaments over the last 14 years. I now have multiple trees, and a couple of small ones for the bedroom and table top. I don’t have the heart to edit my collection, but when my daughter goes to college, I’ll probably give her some of the ornaments and one of the trees. As another poster said, all the ornaments have a special meaning, so I can’t imagine letting any of them go, unless it’s to my daughter.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I love that you have multiple trees to use all those decorations, ACSAPA! And sharing some with your daughter when she’s older is not giving them away at all 🙂

  • psmith140 says:

    Decorating a gum tree with your leftover christmas decorations is a great idea! We got given loads of decorations last year by someone at our church. My mom, who is a teacher, took them to her primary school and let the children make tinsel figures out of it. It was really nice! I suppose the main thing is to hang on to them until the next christmas is coming!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      HI Psmith 🙂 Getting kids to make something with left over decorations is great – recycling at its best and keeping the Christmas feel in the class room, too.

  • ACSAPA says:

    I saw on Pinterest that it’s easy to make a fabulous ornament ball Christmas wreath by opening up a wire hanger, shaping it into a hoop, threading various metallic glass ball Christmas ornaments on it, closing the wire loop with pliers, and then tying a ribbon bow at the top for hanging. Instead of spending money on trendy ornament wreaths, you can just use your extra ball ornaments to make your own. I think a wreath made of blue and silver balls would be very pretty.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Good idea – use exsiting decorations to make one larger one is a great way to keep them but not be so overwhemed with them. Thanks for that idea 🙂

  • streakanime says:

    My mother is horrible with Christmas decorations. She has so many boxes filled with them in her attic. Takes forever to get them all down and put up. It never ceases to amaze me how fast she can take all the decorations down and get them put up in the attic after Christmas though. I guess it makes sense though… You are so eager and into setting up the decorations so everything looks nice. But, it does not really matter how you take them down. I think it might be an OCD thing on her part. They go up on Thanksgiving and come down on Christmas night, haha.

    For financial purposes myself and my fiance have very little in the way of Christmas decorations. We are expecting our first little one in November though. So, it looks like we will have to get around to finding a tree and some decorations. Last year we just went to my mother’s house to celebrate because it was just us. But, it is definitely important to make it special for the little one. 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      She pulls the decorations down on Christmas Night? WOW! No way could I do that – partly because I lvoe them up for a bit longer but also I am usually in the mood to relax not tidy at that stage! I envy her getting them down fast though – it seems to take forever when I do it and not just because I wrap the fragile things individually.

      Believe me, you will slowly build up a decoaration collection – kids create them every year at school, childcare, kinder, home, etc. The challenge with a crawler/toddler is keeping them off the decorations so having few initially is possibly a good thing 🙂

      Maybe your Mum would be happy to share some of her stockpile with you to get you started, streakanime?

  • streakanime says:

    I am sure she probably will, she is a pretty giving person like that. Haha. I remember the first time I moved out and lived with a roomie for a while. She bought us a little mini Christmas tree and some small decorations. We ended up getting rid of most of it when we ended up going different ways. But my mother is very superstitious and she said it was bad luck to not have ANY Christmas decor.

    And yeah, she is a little OCD when it comes to taking the decor back down. I envy her productivity though. I am never that quick about cleaning something up. 😀

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I’d never heard it was bad luck to have no Christmas decor in the hosue, but it certainly brings happiness (which is its own form of luck!) so it sort of makes sense!

  • StacyLynn says:

    One thing that I do to store Christmas decor is to save all the original boxes that decorations come in. Then after Christmas I put them back in the boxes. This helps me stay organized. I know what things are what and they seem to store easier if they are neatly packaged in boxes.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Ah, you don’t just use tote bags (I should have read this post before answering your other one, Stacylynn!)

      You must have a lot of boxes to store! I have some in original boxes but mostly in other boxes so everything is in one place and there are fewer boxes to pull out of the attic each December.

  • StacyLynn says:

    Also, I’m one of those crazy Christmas ladies who puts a tree up in every room. I decorate each tree with a different theme. The one in the living room is all blue/silver and snowmen. The one in the kitchen is “kitchen” themed (or as close to it as I can). The tree in the bathroom is small and has tiny little ornaments on it. Then each of the kids have a tree in their room, that tree has all of their own ornaments; both the ones they’ve made and ones they’ve received. I keep all the ornaments for each tree separated into different tote and I label the totes so I know which tree that stuff goes on.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      You are very organised, StacyLynn 🙂 So many trees and the scheme for each known in advance – very impressive!

      Is a tote bag enough to store your decorations? I take ages packing mine up each year because I wrap some fragile ones individually and roll the tinsel in an attempt to avoid tangles the following year…

  • Isabellas2007 says:

    I like to take my older decorations and give them away. I know this sounds kind of bad, but I want everyone to have a Christmas and the only way I can guarantee this is by providing some of the great joys my kids had with these with other people.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I don’t think it sounds bad at all, Isabella. You’re sharing the Christmas joy (and avoiding a house full of stuff!) and that makes it a really nice tradition of its own.

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  • Mrs. Rogers says:

    I have been given many ornaments that were on our Christmas tree when I was a child. Those are great memories and fun to show my children. I’ve also collected a few cute ones myself, but my all time favorite ornaments are the ones that my children have made for me. I put them all in gallon sized ziplocks and store them in the attic with our tree. At some point I’d like to purchase a trunk to keep them all in and safe.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      The ones kids make are very special, aren’t they? I hope you get your storage trunk, Mrs Rogers – maybe that is the ideal Christmas present for your family to give you this year!

  • pocs says:

    Most of my decorations are in fact hand made. Things I have made into different things. I believe 100% in repurposing. Take your burned out lights (the bigger ones) to make a lovely wreath. Your old back of the sofa blanket can make a wonderful table runner. Let your imagination run wild.

  • pocs says:

    Christmas cards are becoming less and less of a tradition, with every year receiving fewer and fewer. Some of them are really lovely and I do try and save them, but really just for the keepsake factor. I came up with a idea to reuse them and display them fornyears to come. Even though my children are grown we still do not put out presents until Christmas Eve, and I would wrap empty boxes to keep under the tree for display purposes. What not cover those very same boxes with those beautiful cards. Simply glue the cards on the boxes, podge over top clear coat, add a bow and you have a beautiful package to keep forever. You can even pick boxes that can be stored in one another for storage purposes. I think I may try this year.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Card wrapped boxes as pretend gifts – I’d never have thought of that but I like it, pocs. Reusing cards, keeping those beautiful pictures alive, colourful and itneresting. Plus a nice way tp store thsoe cards instead of puttingthem in a dusty box!

      We do put presents udner the tree before Christmas Eve (I run out of storage space otherwise!) so we don’t need pretend gifts but I could see shops etc doing this (oh, you’re inspiring more and more ideas for me, pocs!)

      You could also use cards to cover the boxes you use to store your Christmas decorations.

  • Magic Pixel says:

    We have not bought new decorations probably in 10 years. We didn’t make decorations either – *blush* – but it was always the job of the children to decorate the trees. We used to have those edible candy sticks…somehow most of them went on the tree:)

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Edible candy canes on the tree decorated by kids? Impressive feat, hohoho!

      If you have enough decorations, why would you buy more? There are only so many you can fit on a tree or store all year anyway!

  • pocs says:

    Covering my Christmas storage boxes with Christmas cards, I love it! That’s a wonderful idea! I will definatly put it to use the Christmas! Thanks Santa’s Elf.

  • pocs says:

    Inhale to admit, lately I have been thinking of my grand babies and my holiday decorations. Some of my decor is not what I call kid friendly much less than baby friendly.. Which got me thinking, a baby friendly decoration corner. We all love the decorations and babies especially love the glitz and glitter, ornaments and lights. My craft project for my decorations will be a corner with soft cuddly ornaments and packages just for the little ones. Things they can hold and play with without getting hurt or the worry of damage.. I’ll even hang twinkle lights out of reach, but for their enjoyment. I’m so excited to get started, I hope the grand babies like it.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      A corner of baby decorations they can play with? Pocs you are a genius and your grandbabies will LOVE it!

      Having two very young children at home I know I have to decorate the tree carefully so eveyrthing dangerous is well out of reach – they are drawn to the colours and sparkle so having a special collection for their use is great. I am now thinking of making soft decorations, too, for a few close friends/family with new babies on the way.

  • creativegirl89 says:

    I’m finding that the tree can’t hold all the decorations I want it to attach to it… no matter how hard I wish! So I made a garland to go up the hand rail on the stairs and attached decorations to that. I also made window garlands to go in different rooms of the house. The kids get really involved with this and personalise their own garland 😀

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Making garlands, especially with the kids, sounds like a fun and creative way to deal with an over abundance of Christmas decorations, Natasha 🙂 Thanks for sharing that idea – I may try it this year, too.

  • Lisa Jean Hawkins says:

    I keep all my decorations each year. I love to decorate and use them each year. However, if I know someone who does not have many decorations, I will give them some of mine. I think everyone deserves to look at their home and their tree decorated.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      That’s a nice belief and action, Lisa.

      I think I am going to have to be tough this year and throw out a few decoartions – not because I want to but they are getting so old and weary there isn’t much point anymore (one tinsel length is more string than glitter nowdays!)

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