Old Christmas Decorations in a New House

Where does my Irish Nativity Set go?

It’s the 15th of December and I’m still trying to put Christmas decorations up.  Final exams don’t help, plus the fact that some much-needed surfaces are still covered by unpacked-but-not-put-away stuff that I’m not sure where to put in this new house.  Actually, it’s not a new house, just new to us.  But the layout is different, and sometimes frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong – I mostly love the house. It even is insured by Choice Home Warranty. It’s filled with skylights and many large windows, but that doesn’t leave much wall space for hanging things.  Where do I put the Christmas wall quilt from my sister-in-law?  Where do I put the large wall hanging of Bethlehem that I made years ago? Or my Joy-Joy-Joy forest animal cross-stitch?

And the nativity sets – where do I put the multitude of nativity sets? I’ve always had a couple, but I love them and I started collecting more.  One is a gorgeous cast bronze from Genesis (Irish-made) that sat on the mantel against a white background in our house in County Cork.  Now it’s on an extra-long mantel against a two-story stone fireplace, and it’s dwarfed.  It deserves pride of place, so where do I put it?  And the other Irish set?  And the regular set?  And the miniature polystone Nativity that the kids used to rearrange?  And that’s not to mention the one-piece types.  Sigh.

No ornaments yet, but at least it has lights!

The tree is easy to figure out: it goes exactly where the previous homeowners told me they put theirs.  We bought their leather sectional, pulled the center piece out, spread the two large pieces farther apart, and put the tree in between, just like they said.  But, hmm, that doesn’t look right.  Switch the sofa pieces.  Nope.  Put back together but on the other side of the room.  Nope.  Put them together near the tree, with the rocker and glider on the other side.  Okay, that works, but also highlights the need for a coffee table.  (Does that mean I have a good reason to go furniture shopping?)

Now I’m down to treasured knick-knacks that need a place to sit, and some of the usual spots have vanished.  We had to buy new TVs when we returned, and of course they’re flat panel – nice to watch, but no lovely top surface to set things on!  The basket of pine cones and shiny red & gold ornaments can sit on the stone hearth, but it’s too uneven for anything else.  What about the set of snow angels, the Christmas Elf, a sleigh, the nutcrackers . . . you get the idea.

It will be an ongoing process, I guess.  In a normal year, it takes me several days to decorate (and I don’t go all out!), but this time, I’ll be lucky to find The Right Spot for everything by Christmas Eve.  The empty boxes are looking mighty enticing right now – some of these could just get put away until next year.  The CDs fill the house with music, the tree is lit, so everything else is extra, right?  Right??

What rearranging do you do for your Christmas decorations?  Do you have anything new that you had to find a place to put?  Are you in a new house and struggling like I am?  Are you a minimalist or do you go all out? We’d love to hear your stories.

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