5 Tips for Downsizing Christmas Decor

Especially during these times, oh, how we appreciate the beauty and serenity of a well-designed room or home. These restorative spaces are so often the perfect balm for our weary souls. But wait, here comes Christmas decorating time and with it the temptation and decisions of what to display, keep or say goodbye to forever. Please read on.

Before we moved to NE Ohio, there was a major downsizing of our entire home including our Christmas decor. One would think that being a less is more type of interior designer, I wouldn’t have a ton of Christmas items. Wrong! 

Our former Wichita living room

For most of us, Christmas is an emotional, sentimental experience. Therefore, how can we possibly discard all those ornaments and etc from treasured memories of the past? 

Well, here is my perspective on how to downsize even Christmas now living in a much smaller home.  Since many 50+ers have or will be downsizing their Christmas decor here are my top two reasons:

1. Again for most of us, our adult kids may not be in our homes for the holidays. In our case, our 3 families all live out of state so it makes sense that we travel to where we all gather together in one the designated family homes.  Therefore, to go all out at this lifestage is not appealing for most of us. Solutions to decorating and still enjoying Christmas decorating is to be Design Smart with what to keep and what to not store year after year. 

2. Do you look forward to getting out all those boxes of Christmas decor? I know, sometimes it is fun to sort through all those special items. But wait, they all have to be packed up afterwards, who enjoys this part?

My late mom gave me many limited edition Christmas plates. Of course these are the treasured items that I will keep enjoying year after year. These sweet glass angels were a gift from a special friend.

When I unboxed my Christmas boxes recently, it was so uncomplicated and so easy! Keep the true treasures, give away special family ornaments and etc to family. Now I am freed up to buy the beautful fresh poinstteas, new candles, plus for us this year since staying home, a fresh small Christmas tree. 

One of my greatest delights a couple years back was to be asked to participate in Patricia Hart McMillan’s book, Christmas by Design. This book is a collection of how interior designers across America decorate their homes for Christmas.

Because Christmas is love, peace, and joy, my theme is JOY for the JOY that our homes give us at this very special time of year. 

 Whether using color in a neutral space or not, here are some interior design principles and elements to remember for holiday and Christmas decorating.

1. Less is more

The Christmas spaces that I stop and stare at, respect and appreciate speak authenticity, classic design, scale and proportion. This concept can be applied to color too since many colors like red  go a long way. In order not to nullify the effects of a downsized Christmas, use stronger colors  sparingly as it will speak very loudly, espescially  in the quietness of a neutral background.

2. Listen for the “sound” of color

Red speaks very loudly when against the soft sounding neutral space because red commands you give it attention. Therefore, how much do you want to hear your color selections?


3. Go green

As the partner to the analogous positioning on the color wheel of Christmas colors, green is a saturated color but represents all of nature speaking a healing tone of peace and tranquility. This is the very message of this holiday season. So, in order to achieve a more peaceful but festive and holiday look, I choose to use a lot of greens and natural elements mixed with a calculated amount of the reds.

4. Restrain yourself!

As 50+ers, most of our spaces are not overdone with “stuff” that is not meaningful. Restraint then is needed when decorating for Christmas to achieve that serenity of a lovely and intimate space. I believe this is one of the 50+ers hardest challenges, to let go of most of their Christmas decor keeping only what is loved and treasured.

5. Let there be light

Remember too, candle light, Christmas tree lights, plus dimmers on all lighting is the key to bask in the  warm golden glow of the Christmas spirit. A simple trick is to use a lot of candles in various colors, shapes and sizes. Even the most downsized homes for Christmas  can become aglow with the Christmas spirit.

Notice how sparingly I used red here for our former dining area but how it speaks loudly?

Also, by using a lot of candles in various colors, shapes and sizes, even the most elementary of Christmas decorated rooms become aglow with the Christmas spirit!


Check out this video for a peak at our downsized home. I would love to have you join us at my facebook group Lifesizing for the 50+ here. If you are a member, take note of how we made a huge difference upgrading this fireplace wall.

If you cannot already deduct from my interior designer perspective, less is definitely more as we decorate our homes for this beautiful time of year. By giving sincere evaluation of what is used or, better yet, not used to decorate our homes, we will achieve a sense of cheerful and peaceful spaces that speak volumes of holiday joy and peace that we all want for all those we love and care about in all our life stage seasons.

To order your very own signed copy of my book  with special Christmas pricing, click here! Save 35% for a limited time!

Living and Loving life together,

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  1. Karen L. Carter

    Hi Mitz,
    Well, here I am making a comment about your recent blog on Downsizing Christmas Decor.
    You are right about it may be time to unload some of our Christmas treasures to our children or close relatives. But, for me, and maybe a few other baby boomers that read your blog, I am just not there yet. As you know, my home is rather large, so what I do to prepare for decorating for the Christmas season, is to start really early….. like November. I hate decorating early, but it allows me to do it slowly and methodically. And, I have two young grandsons that come for Christmas, so I like the house to have that decorated look. Also, like you said, Christmas is emotional and sentimental…that goes for me, too. During December, my thoughts go back to my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who shared Christmas with us my entire growing-up years. I keep my 1940’s home very vintage and use much of what my mother saved for my Christmas decor. The wreaths in all my windows, many of them original, are the same wreaths that my parents used in the windows while I was growing -up.( yes, they are safe!) And, of course, you know, that I live in the family homestead, so the flavor of the house and all its memories are ALL right
    here. I GET TO LIVE NOT WITH MY MEMORIES, BUT LIVE IN THE PLACE WHERE I MADE THEM. I know this decorating isn’t for everyone, but, since I don’t have to downsize, I will continue the family tradition probably until I can’t remember anymore, that it’s Christmas! Ha!
    Looking forward to the Class Christmas Party, Yep, the house is probably “over” decorated.
    Does anyone want any of my old decorations??
    Merry Christmas, Bestie!

    • Mitzi

      Karen you have the exact mindset of a woman who is Aging Gracefully because what you do, you CHOOSE to do! You savor your Christmas treasures that bring back your wonderful growing up in this amazing home that has blessed so many over many decades. What an honor it is for those of us who get to be on the receiving end of your generosity of sharing all these Christmas decorations and items. However, above it all, we are blessed beyond measure to be on the receiving end of your family’s history, traditions, but mostly, your giving generous heart. You are our Christmas treasure!