I love filling my home with Christmas cheer, and as much as I love putting things out, I just hate to take it all down. The house seems so bare and empty afterwards, but it is obviously a necessary evil, as it makes me equally annoyed to leave my decorations up for weeks after the holiday. I've tried to find a way to keep some of the beauty and decorations in a way that is respectable well into January and February. Here are some of the rules that I try to follow.
1.) Condense the Christmas
What to Remove: First things first, no matter how adorable that little sign, wreath or banner is, if it says "Merry Christmas," then it needs to make its way back into storage. Along those same lines, anything that is obviously attached to Christmas and not just winter, such as Santa, reindeer, little wrapped gift boxes, etc, needs to go. It's up to you what to do with your nativity sets, but I usually put away all but one and reduce it to just Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
How to Replace It: Use a wintery sign (available here) or wintery props instead.
2.) Remove the Red
What to Remove: Nothing says Christmas like red and green, right? And nothing screams "I am still celebrating Christmas around here!" like red poinsettias, stockings, ribbons and bows. If left alone, red still says Christmas, where green left alone looks lovely and wintery. So if you're debating about an item, and it is red, I would say remove it and replace it with a more seasonally subtle counterpart.
How to Replace It: Once you've removed the bright red bows, replace them with white or maroon berry clusters. Red poinsettias can be replaced with white or gold poinsettias, and opt for a winter wreath instead of a Christmas wreath. (wreath available here)
3.) Ornaments are Out
What to Remove: Much like red, Christmas ornaments are one of the easiest ways to spread the Christmas cheer around your home. We all obviously love this idea: we've been stringing them from our ceilings and window ledges, making them into ornament wreaths, filling bowls and apothecary jars with them, and, oh yeah, putting them on our Christmas tree. But now that the holiday is over, ornaments need to make their way back the the boxes.
How to Replace it: Fill your bowls and jars with pinecones and tree trimmings. String a neutral banner across your fireplace. Leave the white lights on your tree alone, or wrap the tree in a garland of gold ribbons or thin strips of white or oatmeal colored cloth. Substitute your ornament wreath for a pinecone wreath (tutorial for above found at V and Co).
4.) White is Right
What to Remove: If you were decorating for Christmas with a particular color scheme in mind, even if it may not scream Christmas to others (such as blue and silver, or green and gold), you will still associate these pairings with the Christmas season.
How to Replace it: Opt for creamy tones and whites instead. Make a fun white vignette, hang some white frames (available here), and pull out your white candles. White has both a clean feeling and a welcomed calming presence after the craziness of the holidays, so feel free to spread it around.
5.) Rearrange the Regulars
What to Remove: Red or very Christmas-y stockings over the fireplace need to go, but if they are more neutral they can stick around a bit longer. If you had little evergreen trees on the mantle put them somewhere less prominent, like on a side table or ledge.
How to Replace it: If your stockings were the creamy colored version, (such as these from Winternook), consider keeping them out a bit longer and moving them to a less conventional spot than the fireplace, such as along the stairs, or as a part of a wintery vignette. If you had snowmen out for Christmas, keep a few of your favorites but switch them to a different spot.
What are some of your best tips for re-decorating post Christmas? We'd love to hear them!