Un-decking the halls: how to turn taking down Christmas decorations into a fun family night

Taking Down Christmas Decorations

Whether you’re one of those people who has the tree to the curb by December 27 or one who’s just barely de-tinseled by Valentine’s Day, tearing down after Christmas is usually a real chore…especially if you have to do it all by yourself. Fortunately, with a very, very tiny bit of planning, you can enlist your family and make packing away your Christmas decorations a fun annual tradition. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for un-decking the halls together.

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 Get your Scrooge on

This is the time of year when everyone gets a little too quiet when “Jingle Bell Rock” comes on the radio. Christmas is over: Let. It. Go. Make a playlist of decidedly un-Christmas music, or put on a movie that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.

 Serve anything but eggnog

Keep food simple for your un-decking evening. Order a pizza or make hot chocolate and indoor s’mores. You can even go healthy (no time like the present) with a tray of fruits and veggies.

 Divide and conquer

Assign one person to take down ornaments, another to collect hooks, another to remove lights and another to place ornaments in their boxes—you’re going for the opposite of an assembly line here. Little kids can add an element of madness to the magic, so be sure to assign them age-appropriate tasks if they’re going to be a part of the process.

 Tuck away memories

Make it a habit to tuck in a few little reminders of this year’s Christmas along with your ornaments: a pretty bow someone gave you, your annual holiday letter and family photo, a meaningful Christmas card you received, even an album of your kids’ Christmas art. This will spark memories and contribute to the sentimental mood when you open your storage box next year.

Tip: Record the story of your family ornaments with our free printables for a fun way to remember Christmases past.

 Include holiday cheer for next year

You and your family can also pack away small things to surprise yourselves next year. Buy a few new ornaments or a fresh packet of tinsel now that they’re on sale. Slip in a note to yourselves, a mix CD, or even a recipe you didn’t have time to try this year. You can also let the kids add something that they will look forward to—as long as it isn’t perishable.

Tip: Find a blank book with plenty of space for writing and keeping mementos and store it with your ornaments. Each year, when you unpack your decorations, place it on your coffee table so that visitors can contribute thoughts, photos, drawings—whatever. Soon it will be a holiday treasure.

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  • By Jeannie Hund