On Lightening and Simplicity
It's 3:00 PM on December 27th, and I've already taken down my Christmas decorations. For some people, this may seem completely normal. For me, however, this is a first. This is the quickest I've taken down holiday decorations since we've been homeowners (15+ years). Typically, I have holiday decor up well into the second week of January if not longer. I generally want to soak up as much twinkle and magic as I can and love a glowing Christmas tree at New Year's. It's one of the reasons I use neutral colors and greenery instead of red. Then I can call it winter decor instead of just Christmas decorations.
But this year everything felt off. In fact, I planned out almost a dozen more crafts and recipes to post on Instagram before we left for vacation. But at the end of the day, I didn't want to force myself to create anything that I wasn't excited about. I didn't want to fake it. And, perhaps more importantly, I didn't want to create extra pressure on myself or anyone else.
On the 26th, I told Jody that I was ready to take it all down. That I never felt very Christmassy this year. Knowing how much I usually enjoy the sparkle of it all, he seemed a bit surprised and even mentioned that the Christmas tree was very pretty this year. He was a bit concerned that my feelings were due to our vacation to the beach. I let him know it wasn't, but in the moment, I couldn't really pinpoint the "why" of it all. After sitting in my feelings for a bit I realized that I don't think I'm alone. I've read various posts and articles from people expressing similar feelings this season. That got me thinking.
There's a term in the home organization realm: lighten. The most well known form of this is what we refer to as Spring Cleaning, but you can lighten your home throughout the year. When you lighten your home, you're clearing out clutter, disposing of broken items, donating things you don't use, cleaning out closets, switching out clothes for the upcoming season, etc. As I felt the calm associated with taking down my crispy garland, I realized that I needed to lighten my home.
The world has been upside down for so long now that a lot of us are craving simplicity and less clutter. Personally, I know I don't want more things or more distractions. I want quality time with those I love. I want coziness and warmth but not clutter and excess. I'm craving lightness so that's what I'm going to try to create. And I think that's why I was ready to take down my decorations so early and lighten my home. When a part of our lives is filled with chaos or is out of our control, as humans we seek to create calm in the areas of our lives that we CAN control. And while I can't fix the outside world (at least not by myself and not all at once), I can create a sense of calm in my home for my family.
So if you felt off this season, know that you're not alone. I'm right there with you. And I'll be here to help you create some calmness and light in your life.