Now that it’s after Christmas, let’s work out the kinks of the Holiday season together before the next one comes around. Less stress means more enjoyment!
1. Notice The Kinks After Christmas
When packing away your holiday items this year, think about what bothered you as you unpacked. The beautiful photo below is what my Christmas tree usually resides in- a cardboard box that’s falling apart. Not only is it annoying to unpack, but repacking it is also a pain. To make next year easier, I am buying an upright storage bin that will require no rolls of duct tape to stow away my tree.
For you, this might be the unrolled spools of ribbon, tangled Christmas lights, or overstuffed storage bins. Whatever it is that caused you stress unpacking or repacking it, fix it! If you think it’s a headache now, imagine how it will feel next Christmas.
2. Repurpose Christmas Cards
Artwork and decorations can be expensive, so why spend tons of money when you can use what you already have. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. So, make a mental note to send a digital Christmas card next year, and put the ones you already have to good use.
I received these beautiful cards this year, and thought how night they could look next year in simple silver frames. Cards are expensive, and for good reason. We often overlook the work and artistry that goes into these pieces of paper that we simply throw away. I would encourage you to look for other ways that you can repurpose cards and things that you might throw away into meaningful and beautiful decor.
3. Reuse What Is Still Beautiful After Christmas
When you take your gift out of the bag, does the bag go straight in the trash? How about the bows, ribbons, tissue paper, and other things that will sit in a landfill for thousands of years. These can all be reused, and should be. If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
That’s a lot of waste! And not only does it save the planed by reusing materials, it saves you the time and money of having to go and buy more. It’s annoying to have to stop your pre Christmas wrapping because you ran out of bows. That won’t happen if you reuse what you already have. I would also recommend looking into other methods of wrapping like furoshiki– wrapping gifts with fabric, or even wrapping with newspaper, or Kraft paper decorated with dried oranges and rosemary a la The Daily Connoisseur.
4. Keep Track of Gift Ideas
Think back to when people were opening gifts around you this Christmas. Did you pay attention to their reactions? Their words? People always compliment me on my ability to give meaningful and desirable gifts, and I love doing it! Gift giving is one way that I show people love, and I do that well by starting early. Throughout the year, I pay attention and write down when my aunt tells me her new favorite perfume. When my cousin mentions a new winery they love, I make note. As people are opening gifts, I keep an eye on others reactions. Oftentimes, you can get some ideas for next year when people say things like, “I love that scarf you got!”. Keeping your eyes and ears open starting now will set you up for an easy Christmas next year.
5. After Christmas Master What You Couldn’t Before
There is always something heading into Christmas that we wish we knew how to do better. Did you get to Christmas dinner and realize you don’t know how to brine a Turkey? Is gift wrapping always a struggle for you? Do you forget to pull out the festive clothing that you have boxed away somewhere? For me, I realized that I didn’t have any festive jewelry. While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s something that can be hard to buy the day of. It would help me to get in the Christmas spirit to buy some accessories to go with my holiday outfits. Whatever it is that you wish you had done better this past holiday season, take the time you have now to master it.
I love tasteful and timeless jewelry. The earrings above are fun and festive without being a snowman (which of course has its place). I found the link for how to make these beautiful earrings here. How fun would it be to go into the next holiday season wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry that you made!
Your After Christmas To-Do’s
What habits do you have that set you up for the next holiday season? Share them in the comments below! Feel free to let me know if you would like any other tips for next year, or posts about things like making the diy earrings linked above, wrapping gifts, or anything else.