After Christmas Musings

I was missing in action here yesterday as the last of our house guests went on their merry way. It was a wonderful holiday filled with lots of laughs, lots of love, too many treats, and never enough hugs. My outfits all seemed to include a cozy cashmere sweater and pair of jeans, which felt about perfect for our casual times.

here’s our typical family photo capture on Christmas Day in front of the tree.

Luckily, my sister-in-law is short like I am because my grandson is shooting up like a rocket and will tower over me all too soon.

my son Chris, grandson James, and daughter Vanessa

We left our tree up for many weeks after Christmas last year, but I’m not sure we’ll do that again. It’s so much effort to get everything decorated, and it’s the only time of the year we get to enjoy them.

My daughter lost her beloved little HoneyPug this spring and was looking for a tree ornament that captured HP’s expression. This one under a dome crossed my path, and I knew she was it! She’s really so perfect, and I could not have wished to find a cuter one.

My daughter caught my knitting bug when she was home and also started knitting again. Vanessa made three adorable baby hats for friends’ babies while she was here. She left with a hat for herself already cast on and a request for one from my sister-in-law. Since she needed needles, it got me digging through my stash (shocking), where I unearthed some baby alpaca that I cast on to make a hat for me. I have enough yarn in my stash to keep me busy for a very long time, but I also know I’ll never pass a yarn store without having a peek because that’s what knitting obsession looks like for me. It was also interesting shocking to see how many types of needles I have collected over the years, all with different properties.

THESE ADDI TURBO NEEDLES ARE AMAZINGLY SMOOTH AND FAST!

I decided to invest in some holiday-colored plastic storage bins last year, and wow, did it ever make it easier to locate our decorations this year! We’ve got some handblown glass ornaments that we began collecting over 40 years ago, and the thin cardboard boxes they came in are collapsing or have totally fallen apart. Last year I used scads of tissue paper to wrap them, but this year I’d prefer an alternative that’ll be easier and better for the environment.

CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT ORGANIZER

I spotted this container box with dividers plus trays and think it will be fabulous! Once I started looking for holiday storage solutions, I realized how haphazard ours has been.

GIFT WRAP ORGANIZER

My wrapping paper is never in the best shape after a year of storage, so I think this gift wrap organizer will be great. It even slips under the bed. I used to have a wrapping closet in my old house and miss how organized it was…I may make one in the guest room closet here.

MORE STORAGE OPTIONS I FOUND

How long do you leave your holiday decor up?

Thanks for reading, and be sure to wear what makes you feel happy.

77 Comments

  1. Jennifer, You have such a beautiful family. So glad you were all able to be together.
    Your tree is so natural looking. Where did you find it ? Next year I will be shopping for an artificial tree. The first time in my 70 years of age, we bought a fresh tree that was loaded with Christmas Tree Aphids. They didn’t appear or become active until the tree was completely decorated. So the tree came down and went out by 12/10/22. No tree this year. LOL ! Normally we take our Christmas decorations down by Jan.3 Have a Great Week and Happy New Year to You!

    1. Oh wow, that would be so upsetting!! We bought ours at Home Depot last year, right after Thanksgiving. Thanks so much. I feel so blessed. Happy New Year!

  2. Marin Mattingly says:

    Even in boxes, I wrap mine in paper napkins. Scraps of cloth or precut quilting squares would be greener. Have a blessed New Year.

  3. sounds like it was lovely family time at your house for Christmas! Love the pictures of you all, the HoneyPug ornament and the baby hats. I have two of the Humior wrapping paper organizers. One for Christmas paper, and one for everyday paper. Love them! Taking our decorations down tomorrow. Hopefully 🙂

  4. Such a picture perfect family portrait and happy to learn that Vanessa was able to join you and such fortunate babies to be receiving the beautiful handmade toques from her. As to taking down decorations; must confess I limited them this year to only a small tree in the Family Room (that is in a Coca Cola theme which my husband collects and leaves decorated all year that is stored in the basement) plus added a hand crafted vintage crèche (made out of straw) for its f/p mantle surrounded by assorted candles. That being said though and keeping with a rustic theme, I did make an attempt of being creative and decorated an antique alpine downhill sled together with a Merry Christmas wooden planchette (that I made) for our front porch and door that can be quickly removed within minutes. Whereas, plan to re-organize my wrapping paper etc. within the next few days as currently the table top in my craft’s ‘n sewing room looks like a cyclone hit it. -Brenda-

    1. You are very creative and clever Brenda. Merry Christmas!

  5. We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and our kids go to the in-laws Christmas Day. A few years ago, I came down Christmas morning and my husband was taking the tree down and had it out on the street before most people were celebrating their Christmas. This is now a family joke. We bought an artificial tree the next year so he doesn’t feel the need to take it down so early. Love your blog and look forward to it every day.

    1. That is hilarious! We bought an artificial tree last year too. It’s been much easier but I do miss the scent.

      1. I bought a plug in scent diffuser/fan from the online company, Scentsy. They use pods instead of oils. I buy one of their pine scented pods and plug it in near our artificial tree. Works like a charm!

  6. Great post! Love the photos of your family! And … love the idea of new ways to store Christmas wrappings and ornaments!

  7. We will be taking Christmas down next Monday 1/2/23. I love the fresh start feeling January has. However, I usually leave one small Christmas decoration or ornament out all year long to remind me of keeping Christmas with me all year. I also have some of the white pre-lit twig branches that I use to keep the lovely Christmas tree glow. I keep them in a large ceramic pot on the piano and turn them on in the evening. Love the knitted hats. I am more of a sewist but knitting is so tactile and perfect for the colder months. Happy New Year to all.

    1. That’s a fun idea Mary! I love white lights all year.

  8. I take mine down on the First January. Pronto! It does look rather plain afterwards but I’m also done with Christmas by then. January is also the time I start going through drawers , closets, and cupboards to declutter and organize. A new year, a fresh start.
    It’s so nice to be surrounded by family at Christmas. Vanessa was lucky to get out this year. So many flights were canceled. Your grandson is growing quickly. How old?

  9. Francesca B says:

    Gorgeous pictures thank you for sharing! We tend to leave the tree up until the 4th and then the putting away of all things Christmassy begins. I do like the fresh start to the year visually. I love knitting and used to be a real Kaffe Fassett follower when he made beautiful sweaters to copy.Love doing cables !!

  10. Love your Christmas family pictures here, Jennifer! Such a beautiful family.
    I don’t knit but am really liking that shade of blue in your latest knitting project- a nearly perfect blue!
    (We usually spend New Years Day taking most of the decorations down)I wonder if most families leave them up longer? . It seems tgat sone if my neighbors do- into late January which actually is pleasant to see- it’s so dark here.

    1. I think the lights are really cheery in darker days too. It’s a gorgeous blue, I agree!

  11. Can’t believe Christmas is over already! We had 8 grandkids at our house. They range from 2 to 20. It’s really fun and hectic! Love your dog ornament. I agree you could leave it out all of January. We have boxes for ornaments that have held up pretty well so far. I hate taking my decorations down, they are so fun to put up!

    1. Me too! All that prep then it passes in a flash. Your houseful sounds so wonderful!

  12. Beautiful photos. I love the knitted hats. I love to knit too. Where can I get the pattern for the hats?

    1. I’ll have to get the name from her but I’m sure I found it on Ravelry. The Pom poms were just made by wrapping yarn around a piece of cardboard and tying off. I know there are Pom Pom makers but I always just make my own.

  13. Just a suggestion. I have ornament boxes that I’ve used for many years. The dividers are made of cardboard which I find valuable when it comes to larger/longer ornaments that never fit in the squares which only work for smaller typical ornaments. The cardboard allows me to bend the dividers a bit especially at the corners for those larger ornaments.
    Have a wonderful New Year. Always enjoy your articles! 😊

    1. That’s a great idea. We do that with a few of our larger ones after the smaller ornaments have gotten broken. Happy New Year!

  14. Your family picture shows how much fun you were having.
    That handsome Grandson is growing very fast. All to soon he will be a young man. Love watch my Grandchildren grow into adults, but it does pull on my heart strings a bit.
    We keep our decorations up until Jan. 6 or some times a little latter. (I love to decorate, but l hate take them down). The house looks bare so, I
    leave my snowmen up until March. Then Spring is around the corner and I can decorate for the next Season.

    1. It always feels bare when I take mine down too. The holiday decor is just cheery!

      1. I love decorating for Valentine’s Day just as much. Brightens up drab February. I also keep a small fiber optic tree going till March. No fuss. No muss. How about a post about Alpaca fashion. Cannot afford it, but I can dream, can’t I?

      2. We can and should dream about fashion we love! Then see where we can duplicate it at a better price 😁

  15. Last year we got a new slim flocked tree and left it up for about 2 weeks after Christmas. This year not sure but I’m thinking it will come down next week. All is sort of dependent on how much time I have as to what time works best. The doggie ornament was just adorable. That would be something you could leave set out for a while to enjoy. I do leave all my winter decor up in the house. It probably makes a difference where you live too. Since we are in PA we have snowy and cold months coming up so lighted winter decor makes it feel cozier inside! Definitely no wrong time to take down your tree though!

    1. That’s a great point about snowy weather and cheery decor! It’s cold, dark and blustery out today and our tree does cheer it up.

  16. You have a beautiful family! Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!

    1. Thank you so much Deb

  17. I have that ornament organizer and can recommend it.

  18. Pat Patterson says:

    Good morning Jennifer
    It was a lovely Christmas for our family also. Our daughter arrived from Denver last Wednesday, our other two daughters and their families were here for Christmas Day. A house full of grandchildren (7), three of them over 6’, it was noisy, lots of laughter from playing a family game and not a crumb of food left!! Makes my husband and I feel so blessed. 💕
    BTW, my husband surprised me with diamond earrings🥰.
    Have a lovely day everyone

    1. It sounds so wonderful Pat!! All that boisterous family love is priceless. It sounds like your hubby is a very smart man 😁 congrats!

  19. Janis Laws says:

    I am one of the few who takes down my Christmas decorations as soon as Dec. 25 has ended! I like getting my house cleaned thoroughly and back in order! Like mama, like daughter.

    1. We’ve done that before as well. I really like to start the new year organized.

  20. Yarn shops cannot be passed up. I’m planning a trip to one today. I “need” more baby yarn.

    1. Lol, a woman after my own heart 🤣

  21. Looks like it was Happy Holiday at your home! I’m with you on yarn shops, and my stash is “generous,” too. Many years ago a favorite shop went out of business, and I bought A lot of their beautiful wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks. They feel so good in my hands compared with ALL my metal ones. I’ve not seen wooden ones like mine since. I do see bamboo which I’ve not tried.

    1. My rosewood needles and ebony needles are my very favorites! They feel amazing!

  22. Your family photos are lovely Jennifer, and how special is that doggie ornament. And the decoration organizer is brilliant!
    Our Christmas plans got cancelled twice – first due to the big storm and then due to Covid. My niece and her boyfriend flew in from England and then he tested positive for Covid, and then passed it on to my family that they are staying with.
    As for decorations, I typically take them down on New Years day. I like to start the new year with a clean, organized house.
    Happy Holidays everyone.

    1. Oh no Yvonne, I’m so sorry! Covid is so nasty! I just got my next booster because I really don’t want it ever again.

  23. Joanne W. says:

    I know you must be very proud of your beautiful family! We generally take down our Christmas tree on January 1st, but leave our beautiful paper mache wise men up until after the Epiphany.

    1. Your wise men sound lovely!

  24. I typically leave my tree and holiday decor up until January 6 th. That’s Epiphany when the wise men arrived.

    1. I think many people do the same.

  25. Your family pictures are beautiful! I have 7 grandchildren so my house was very chaotic but fun! Good pictures of our celebration are often hard to get in the hustle and bustle of things. I usually keep decorations out for another week after Christmas but yesterday I started putting up a few things. I always have a live tree and I will probably leave it up until New Years day or later. Thanks for the storage container information. One of my new year resolutions is to get better organized!

    1. Me too! Especially my closets and storage.

  26. Hi Jennifer,
    Love your family photo, that ornament remembrance is priceless!
    We like to decorate right after my bday which is 12/3, today is take the tree and decorations down and do a deep cleaning!

    Enjoy a lovely day!

  27. Wow, I love the idea of a gift wrapping closet. That’s gonna be my project for the coming week.
    I always take down the tree and all decorations on December 31st at the latest; I want to start the new year fresh and use the last few days of the year to clean and tidy everything. But I’m weird with Christmas and decorations, because I also put them up late: usually at the second weekend of December. Too much ‘clutter’ for to look at for a long period makes me jittery:)

  28. Glad you had such a lovely Christmas. Your tree looks so pretty. Covid hit half my guests (my family from the USA), so Christmas Day was a very small, quiet affair, but still lovely, albeit disappointing. Ended up even more casual than you, with a linen dress and flip flops as it was so hot. Once Christmas Day is over, that is it for me. The decor and tree came down on Boxing Day.

    1. I’m so sorry Susan!! That’s very disappointing.

  29. Looks like a lovely family time! Beautiful baby hats! Would you share the pattern? Can it be knit on straight needles?

    1. They’re just a simple knit in the round pattern. She took the pattern so I’ll have to get it’s name from her.

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