It was the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving (the day when we usually do our Christmas decorating) and my husband and I were sharing a few quiet moments together.
It sounds like a lovely scene, but I was one exhausted (and grouchy) mama.
“Why do we have to put up all this stuff?” I whined to my husband in-between bites of leftover pie. “Do we have to do this?” I was already feeling very put out by Christmas.
My very practical, steady-hearted (and oh-so-patient) husband looked at me and said, “No, we don’t have to put up Christmas decorations.”
“Well, wait,” I said. “That’s not what I meant.”
“Why not?” he quietly responded. “If it causes more stress and drama, then doesn’t that go against the whole spirit of the holiday?”
I sat there for a second, knowing that he was right. But then I realized that his comment shed some light as to the real why behind not wanting to decorate.
I have been struck lately by a need to pare away what I don’t need in order to discover a simpler, happier life. Yes, that means getting rid of tangible stuff, but also activities, attitudes and all those “must-do” things I’d somehow made incredibly important.
I realized that the real reason I didn’t want to decorate was that, in the past, Christmas decorating had become a ritual–something we’d just done because we had to. I’d pulled out everything in the boxes and just “found a spot” for everything.
But what if I turned that concept on its head and instead saw this task as a welcoming to the promises of Christmas?
What if I asked myself, “How can we fill our home with special decor that invites celebration, inspiration and hope?”
What if I touched each of our Christmas decorations and asked myself, “Does this still bring our family joy during this season?” and if the answer was no, I felt free to pass the item on to someone else?
That type of Christmas decorating was something I could get excited about.
The Purpose of Christmas Decorating
It’s so easy for Christmas to become a season of “stuff,” and, in my ongoing quest for authentic, joy-filled living, my soul wants to say no to that.
Christmas is a celebration of the ultimate gift of Christ! How has he comforted, provided and blessed us in the past? Where would our lives be without Him today? And what a glorious future awaits us in heaven–all because of what He’s done for us.
That’s what I want every part of our family’s Christmas to proclaim!
Christmas decorations are meant to encourage, to inspire and to remind us of why we’re overflowing with unspeakable joy this season.
Each Christmas decoration should have purpose… or why do we have them?
I love Red Letter Words’ Christmas themed art pieces because they so clearly meet this ultimate purpose!
As I began sorting through our Christmas decorations, I found myself drawn over and over to the simple yet profound message of Red Letter Words’ art pieces.
In order to keep my Christmas decorating purposeful, I decided to strategically place these Christmas-themed art pieces in high-traffic areas. For example, I placed this piece of art–a new 5 x 5 design that says “Faith Believes” in a poinsettia plant on our fireplace mantel near our advent calendar.
I tucked this adorable “Rules the World” 5 x 5 design in a stocking I hung on a knob of an antique cabinet in our main living area.
I also may give a few of these 5 x 5 pictures as gifts this year to family members or others who have blessed us this year. Wouldn’t this be adorable tucked into a gift basket?
My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night,” and so I really connected to this beautiful 5 x 7 piece. I decided to place this on my favorite hutch, which happens to be in the hallway on the way to the living room (which means that I will see it often). I want it to remind me of the glory and the miracle that made both shepherds and angels gather in a barn on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
And then there was this piece–a lovely 11 x 14 art print stating “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
I wanted to display this one in a big way, so I made it the focal point of a 36″ wreath.
I’ve hung it over a large window in our family area since this is a message I want us to remember every day as we make daily decisions about what we will and won’t do for Christmas.
But wouldn’t this wreath and art piece be a lovely way to also warmly greet guests as a front-porch display?
Lastly, I placed this wonderful TK X TK design called (TK–NAME) (TK–LINK) next to a reading area in my master bedroom. Not only will I see it during my daily quiet time, but it is directly across from my bed so it’s one of the first things I see when I wake in the morning.
Then I started a bag of Christmas ornaments and decor that no longer speaks to us. These items are still in good shape (that’s why I’ve been hanging on to them) but they aren’t purposeful to us, so I’m letting them go.
I want to release those things that bring clutter and weight and instead focus on a smaller amount of decor that inspires. This simple act of releasing what’s no longer needed and embracing what does bring blessing is a freeing, beautiful concept that I’ll be talking about more as we approach the new year.
Christmas Decor That Inspires and Encourages
This Christmas, let’s decorate not “just because,” but in order to bring joy and daily reminders of this awe-inspiring season.
Instead of just filling our homes with red and green, let’s take each Christmas decor item and ask ourselves:
“Does this bring our family joy, encouragement, refreshment, excitement or hope for the Christmas season? Does it strengthen our faith in Christ?”
Let’s choose pieces that remind us of Christmas’ great promises and that inspire us to choose meaningful attitudes and activities this holiday season.
That’s the purpose behind the decorating, isn’t it?
Other posts on a meaningful Christmas: