I am being firmer this year than ever before. Christmas is a time for love, and happy memories - but not pointless sentimentality. If I do not like it, cannot remember why I have it, and it has cracked/torn/frayed or is shedding needles, fur, or glitter, then it goes! [to recycling, rubbish or the Charity Shop]
- Lights - We have ditched a large box of old lights - nothing special about them, and they were not LED, so not as cheap to run. Wilko had a great selection of inexpensive ones - and we needed some battery powered ones for the staircase as there is not a convenient socket in this house. Minimal outlay, good result.
- Cards - ruthlessly recycled. Just a few kept for a craft workshop I am doing soon, and a few others to make next year's cards [I didn't use all this years, so will not need many come December 2016]
- Gifts - none of my gifts this year are 'unwanted' - many have been delicious edible, or 'requested' [my watch, my perfume, a particular book] or useful tokens. But I have shamelessly re-used fancy gift bags over the Christmas season as I have delivered things to family and friends in the past few weeks. And the arrival of a lovely new Cath Kidston Mug is a good reason to get rid of one of my older, less loved mugs to a charity shop.
- Decorations - As the decorations come down, they are being pruned. To be truthful, they were also pruned 'on the way up' four weeks ago. For about 8 years I have hung a home-made funky-foam snowman on the tree which was a gift from a former pupil - but I cannot remember who it was, and it is looking very tatty now, that is going. And I need to make space for my newest Nativity - a delightful Matryoshka set from Liz [the largest piece has 3 faces - all different magi]
- Baking supplies - there are one or two pots of 'sprinkles' which are almost used up, they can definitely go. I discovered that I had far more Christmas petit four cases than I realised [I got some very cheaply in an IKEA sale in 2013, and I shall never need them all] I was able to give a bagful to a friend who makes wonderful chocolate truffles. I ought to go through my Christmas cookie cutters as well, I suspect there are some duplicates which need a new home.
- Candles - or to be more accurate - tealight holders. I put them all along the mantelpiece and there seemed to be dozens. Bob rightly said there were too many, so I put some back in the box. Some are frankly not that attractive - metal ones have tarnished, plastic ones with chips ... the Dickensian Cottage [which I thought ugly] went straight to a CS earlier in the month - I hope someone else loves it. I am only keeping the lovely ones.
Having a different house to decorate has helped - some things never made it out of the box this year, and I shall have to seriously consider if I do want to keep them for the future. I threw away our ancient door wreath before we moved - but did not buy a new one. Instead, in the porch, we hung our old Swedish light wreath vertically and clipped just one red silk poinsettia to it. [for years that wreath hung horizontally like a chandelier in our conservatory, with red and silver baubles hanging down] It looked great in its new incarnation. Bob likes the minimalism.
Have you acquired any new decorations this year? have you got rid of any old ones?
Do you hang on to ones which have special memories?