Strolling through the store the other day, I noticed the first hint of the 2014 Christmas season in a few decorations that had been neatly stacked on a shelf in the back corner of the store. I realized it would only be a couple of weeks before the Christmas section was fully stocked and prominently displayed. Then I realized that autumn is a good time to go through Christmas decorations in preparation for the holidays.
Most of us have boxes of decorations stored away in a closet, basement, or attic, just waiting to be brought out for a few weeks in December. However, nothing is worse than pulling out the decorations on the day you want to put them up only to find out something is damaged and missing. By going through decorations in the autumn, you can get an early taste of the Christmas spirit while at the same time assessing what you are going to need to purchase in the coming weeks.
As a side note, early autumn is a great time to buy decorations for the upcoming season. The closer you get to Christmas, the more expensive things become. Shopping in late September and early October can save you money.
If you are old enough to remember the days of the over-sized incandescent bulbs painted in bright colors, you probably also remember your father or grandfather spending hours untangling the strings prior to hanging. We can laugh about it now, knowing that untangling the mess was part of the annual Christmas tradition. Maybe you still do it yourself.
Untangling and checking Christmas lights lets you quickly identify any broken bulbs that need to be replaced. And of course, we assume you will plug-in each individual string just to make sure.
Many of us prefer the old-fashioned lights because of the warm glow these provide. Nevertheless, maybe you prefer modern LED lights instead. If so, you will have a much easier time when you pull your decorations out of the closet. LED lights are not susceptible to individual bulbs burning out.
Lights and Christmas trees are pretty universal across America. However, in those stored boxes of Christmas goodies, each family has its own special decorations that are part of decades-old traditions. A German family, for example, may have a pickle ornament to be hidden somewhere in the deepest recesses of the tree. The first child to find the ornament wins a special prize that year.
Your family may have a special Advent calendar, a crèche that has been passed down through the generations, and even some of those handmade Christmas ornaments from elementary school. They are all special in their own unique ways; they are part of what makes Christmas such a special family celebration.
If you are storing your family decorations in old cardboard boxes, you might consider switching to sealed plastic bins. A plastic bin offers greater protection against air and light – the two things most harmful to those family holiday keepsakes. As an added bonus, plastic bins are easily stackable for maximum use of limited storage space.
Autumn is a great time to start going through Christmas decorations in preparation for the holiday season. So even as you are putting out your pumpkins and cornucopia, pull out your Christmas decorations and start going through them one by one. A box every few days is a good pace. When you are all done, you will be able to look forward to the holiday decorating season with the knowledge that you are prepared.