Leave the Mess on Christmas!

In a few days your house will be filled to the brim with wrapping paper scraps from opened gifts, shirt box pieces all over the place, gift bags on the floor, ribbons and bows scattered around, and tissue paper everywhere!  The mere thought of this honestly makes me a little anxious.  But what I want to say to you is…leave it alone!  Enjoy it!  Relish it!  Take it all in!  Be thankful that you can experience this chaos!

Keep all this in mind on Christmas morning.  All of this untidiness is a wonderful sign.  It is a sign of you and your family enjoying each other, enjoying one another’s company, and having fun exchanging gifts. THIS is what Christmas and the Holidays is all about.  Don’t rush to clean it up, don’t worry about what it looks like, don’t think about the mess…simply enjoy it!  Instead say to yourself “my house looks so colorful with all this wrapping paper everywhere”, ” look how happy everyone looks”, “I am so thankful for all these people in my life”.   These are the moment that we remember. Not the gifts, the moments.  Memories last forever, not gifts.

When you ARE ready to start cleaning up, have the following items on hand to make clean-up easier:

  • Large black heavy duty garage bags. These bags can hold a large amount of wrapping paper, boxes that are not recyclable, objects with sharp edges, and any other gift-opening remnants.  Using these bags versus smaller or thinner bags can save you time and hassle because they will rip less, and you can fit more in one bag than in several smaller bags.  Garbage bags that stretch are also good options.
  • Large paper bags or Empty Bins. You can use large paper bags or bins for putting away shirt boxes, gift bags, and other items. Storing these items in bins will make them easily accessible for next year.  Also, having bags and bins on hand are also great for corralling gifts.

One important thing to note about wrapping paper is that it isn’t recyclable.  While it would be really easy to just throw it in the recycle bin, please don’t do this.  Wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives, glitter, etc., all of which cannot be recycled.  Consider saving some of the wrapping paper.  It could be reused for kids art projects, on smaller packages next year, you could put it in the shredder and use the strips for packaging material, or make confetti for another celebration, etc.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to enjoy the mess. I have to admit that I do feel odd saying that because I don’t like chaos and untidiness, but this is something that I will force myself to do this year.  It will force me to slow down, look around, and be thankful – I hope you can do the same this year, and every year. Be thankful for the gift that was given to you, the time people took to pick out the perfect gift for you, and most importantly be thankful for all the wonderful people in your lives!

My warmest wishes to you and your family for the Holiday season and New Year!