Only 359 Days until Christmas 2011

Friday, December 31, 2010

359 days until Christmas copy Hey, friends….it’s Shinnyupatree, Teresa’s head elf giving you a post-Christmas debrief. Are you kidding me? I can barely move around all the remnants of Christmas 2010 and now you’re saying something I don’t want to hear about Christmas 2011. It’s never ever too early to think about Christmas. I think about it all the time….summer, spring, winter and fall. But that’s another whole story and I probably need to be in therapy.

Now down to the business at hand—preparing for next season by properly storing your holiday decorations. This isn’t the perfect way. It’s not the only way. It’s just my way. So maybe you can pick up an idea or two to help make next Christmas a little easier.

A great way to start planning is to first jot down some thoughts about Christmas 2010. Trust me, do it while things are fresh on your mind. Ask yourself what would you do differently next year? My debrief list will probably look something like this:

  1. Start earlier. Main tree went up two weeks before Thanksgiving. Maybe move to first of October.
  2. Replenish replacement bulbs for outside lights when stores first put out Christmas supplies…again start earlier. Buy them when supplies are plentiful. Purchase bulb stakes at Ellis early—need about 50 more.
  3. Schedule ahead (again earlier) friends and family trees that I do. Start asking in September-October.
  4. Floral projects. Check door wreaths and tabletop trees in storage for refreshes or redo.
  5. Put together two small trees for Devin and Laney.
  6. Schedule Christmas cookie day with grands earlier than three days before Christmas.
  7. And the list goes on and on until I run out of ideas or changes.

So you get the idea of the debrief list. Mine will go in a cute snowman journal Teresa gave me. Just make it handy and easy to find.  I’m pretty sure you could find one now for a good price. BUT DON’T PACK IT IN YOUR CHRISTMAS STUFF!

A CONFESSION:  My Christmas addiction means I have something in every room during the holidays. I’m telling you in my 2,400 sq. ft. home there is not one area except maybe my kitchen pantry or closets that doesn’t have Christmas decor in it. Trees, Santas, floral arrangements, wreaths, garland, lights, books, toys for the grandchildren…I’m sorry it’s obvious I have a problem. So I had to come up with an easy storage system and solution. Maybe you can use some of my ideas for your own holiday decor—if not this year maybe next…this would be a good time to jot that down in your debrief journal as the first entry.P1060416

  1. STORAGE CONTAINERS - Purchase and replace as you are able CLEAR storage bins. Last year I bought 20+ of these Sterilite 70 qt. clear containers. They’re great because they stack easily filled or empty, the lids lock on securely and can be labeled on the handles, and most importantly you can SEE the contents.P1060409P1060407If you’re using solid containers, try to gradually replace them with clear as you’re able to afford it. If you standardize your containers, you can make more efficient use of your space. We have an off-site storage unit, but this could also work in an attic.
  2. PICTURES – Take pictures of your holiday displays for placement and ideas for next Christmas. (You will use these pictures in the next step.) It doesn’t mean you will put everything out in a “paint-by-number” way. For me it’s an easy way to decorate without having to reinvent the wheel. I know I’ll be flexible and have freedom to make subtle changes especially if I’ve bought a new item in the after-Christmas sales. If you’re using a digital camera and pc, create a new folder on your computer named Christmas 2010 holiday decor. It’s also a good idea to burn it to a cd for a backup just in case your pc isn’t around the next year. Here are a few of my 2010 placement pictures. Display 009 Display 001   Display 002 Display 003Display 005Display 004Display 006 Display 007 Display 008
  3. PRINT PICTURES - Print the photos on regular paper or cardstock. Remember you’re only using them for reference so photo paper is not necessary—save your money. I took it a step further last year and printed a collage of each room Dining Room 2010on a sheet like this… Den decor 2010
  4. PACK DECOR BY ROOM – Packing each room in its own bins allows you to have everything handy to put out next year.  Label your bins by room and place the printed photo or collage on the inside front of the bin. Box sample
  5. PACK TREE DECORATIONS – All my trees are packed in bins labeled by tree; for example, den tree.  I pack fragile glass or collectible ornaments in ornament boxes like this…P1060410or wrap them in bubble wrap in large 2.5 gallon Ziplock bags. P1060412You can then place the ziplock bag on top of other non-breakable ornaments in the bin like this…P1060415
  6. SORTING – Christmas bins are stacked in storage by room. So if next year I want to do the den one week, or the dining room, those containers can be pulled for just that room. Spare ornaments not assigned to any particular tree or house are sorted by color. That way if I need extra red in one of my trees I can pull the bin of red and fill in as needed. Then the next year those red ornaments are packed with that tree.
  7. COLLECTIBLE SANTAS/FIGURINES – For most of my collectibles I have saved the original boxes for storage. Yes, I am spoiled because my husband (who kindly pays for my off-site storage) built shelves in the storage unit for me. Everything else goes in a regular clear plastic bin for that room.

So now get ready for Christmas 2011. Don’t forget to do your debriefing. Don’t you just love an elf telling you to do your homework? I promise it will pay off big time for you next year.

I will be posting photos of my home decor in the next few days and I would love if you would take a peek. Stop by with your comments or shoot me a question if you have one.  My Christmas will be staying up for a while. Hey, get this…my hubby wants to keep my main snowman tree up until next year…a first for him, but I guess that shows he really loves it.

Happy New Year banner 2 

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a safe Happy New Year!

Best to you all,



Saturday, December 25, 2010

We went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service and one of my favorite singers sang this song.  She has a Faith Hill voice and she was amazing.  We had a gourmet meal prepared by Amanda and Micah and then the Christmas Eve service made the night so special. We will celebrate with Greg and his family on Sunday. 
After the service we rode around and looked at Christmas lights and then it was time to get TWO boys to bed so SANTA could stop by.  100_4050



Can’t seem to capture the BEAUTY of this in a PICTURE….a garland filled with lights and ornaments of every shape and color


Merry Christmas to all my
blog friends. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If you read my post on my main blog about finising the tree season,I wrote about colored lights
I wrote about this home and tree that left me feeling so good when I left, though it was not the type tree I am most comfortable with.  Below are some pictures from this gorgeous home. (all picture will enlarge)  This home has a story.  The Mom and Dad are close in age to my son.  Actually the Dad at this house is the son of my first tree client 18 years ago.  This is a a family I love.  They are a couple that has had so much heartbreak, losing baby after baby after baby. This week they celebrate their 17th anniversary and for the first eleven years they wanted children more than anything.  In the last six years God has blessed them with three little ones through adoption.  All incredible stories that maybe I can get Ashley to share one day in a guest post.  Enjoy these snapshots of ONE HAPPY HOME and as you look at them remember whatever you are praying for...