Tip #115: Downsize holiday decor.
December in New York practically begs for more light. When it gets dark by 4:00 in the afternoon and when the sky’s still pitch black when you wake up in the morning, it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Jewish, pagan, or utterly agnostic, adding a little bit of light to a dark apartment is a thing to try. And the good news is, a string of twinkle lights takes up hardly any room at all.
But if you want to add something even more festive to these dark days? If you want to jolly up the room with trimmings that verily shout the tidings of the season—or welcome in the woodland sprites? I think the best route is to add things that can be tossed guilt-free, come January: oranges, pomegranates, pine boughs, juniper branches, tiny trees, pinecones, and garlands of popcorn and cranberries.
All of the holiday decorations that I store fit into a single shoe box. Inside there are a few strings of lights, a set of antique German candle clips, and a few favorite ornaments tucked in for safe keeping. Everything else that I use to decorate are things that I’ll use up over the course of the season (bayberry tapers!) or things I can throw away at the end of the season without worrying that they’ll end up in a landfill.
Over the weekend, we bought our first Christmas tree since moving to Brooklyn and decked the windowsills with foraged greenery I’d collected the woods and beach paths near my mom and dad’s house at Thanksgiving. Everything’s merry and bright, just simply so.
PS. I’ve found I could fit more into my box by keeping everything loose and throwing away the original packaging. I wind my string of lights carefully around a piece of folded cardboard and attach a luggage tag to remind me where to start unravelling. And these smaller lights on copper string, fold up to be truly teeny, tiny. (You can get your own, here.)
PPS. We decided to go ornament-free on the tree this year. Instead we added one string of lights with tiny bulbs and one string with larger ones. I love how the two sizes make it look all twinkly.