5 Tips for Downsizing Christmas Decor

Especially during these times, oh, how we appreciate the beauty and serenity of a well-designed room or home. These restorative spaces are so often the perfect balm for our weary souls. But wait, here comes Christmas decorating time and with it the temptation and decisions of what to display, keep or say goodbye to forever. Please read on.

Before we moved to NE Ohio, there was a major downsizing of our entire home including our Christmas decor. One would think that being a less is more type of interior designer, I wouldn’t have a ton of Christmas items. Wrong! 

Our former Wichita living room

For most of us, Christmas is an emotional, sentimental experience. Therefore, how can we possibly discard all those ornaments and etc from treasured memories of the past? 

Well, here is my perspective on how to downsize even Christmas now living in a much smaller home.  Since many 50+ers have or will be downsizing their Christmas decor here are my top two reasons:

1. Again for most of us, (excluding this year’s virus restraints), our adult kids may not be in our homes for the holidays. In our case, our 3 families all live out of state so it makes sense that we travel to where we all gather together in one the designated family homes.  Therefore, to go all out at this lifestage is not appealing for most of us. Solutions to decorating and still enjoying Christmas decorating is to be Design Smart with what to keep and what to not store year after year. 

2. Do you look forward to getting out all those boxes of Christmas decor? I know, sometimes it is fun to sort through all those special items. But wait, they all have to be packed up afterwards, who enjoys this part?

My late mom gave me many limited edition Christmas plates. Of course these are the treasured items that I will keep enjoying year after year. These sweet glass angels were a gift from a special friend.

When I unboxed my Christmas boxes recently, it was so uncomplicated and so easy! Keep the true treasures, give away special family ornaments and etc to family. Now I am freed up to buy the beautful fresh poinstteas, new candles, plus for us this year since staying home, a fresh small Christmas tree. 

One of my greatest delights a couple years back was to be asked to participate in Patricia Hart McMillan’s book, Christmas by Design. This book is a collection of how interior designers across America decorate their homes for Christmas.

Because Christmas is love, peace, and joy, my theme is JOY for the JOY that our homes give us at this very special time of year. 

 Whether using color in a neutral space or not, here are some interior design principles and elements to remember for holiday and Christmas decorating.

1. Less is more. The Christmas spaces that I stop and stare at, respect and appreciate speak authenticity, classic design, scale and proportion. This concept can be applied to color too since many colors like red  go a long way. In order not to nullify the effects of a downsized Christmas, use stronger colors  sparingly as it will speak very loudly, espescially  in the quietness of a neutral background.

2.Listen for the “sound” of color. Red speaks very loudly when against the soft sounding neutral space because red commands you give it attention. Therefore, how much do you want to hear your color selections?


3.Go green. As the partner to the analogous positioning on the color wheel of Christmas colors, green is a saturated color but represents all of nature speaking a healing tone of peace and tranquility. This is the very message of this holiday season. So, in order to achieve a more peaceful but festive and holiday look, I choose to use a lot of greens and natural elements mixed with a calculated amount of the reds.

4.Restrain yourself! As 50+ers, most of our spaces are not overdone with “stuff” that is not meaningful. Restraint then is needed when decorating for Christmas to achieve that serenity of a lovely and intimate space. I believe this is one of the 50+ers hardest challenges, to let go of most of their Christmas decor keeping only what is loved and treasured.

5.Let there be light. Remember too, candle light, Christmas tree lights, plus dimmers on all lighting is the key to bask in the  warm golden glow of the Christmas spirit. A simple trick is to use a lot of candles in various colors, shapes and sizes. Even the most downsized homes for Christmas  can become aglow with the Christmas spirit.

Notice how sparingly i used red here for our former dining area but how it speaks loudly?

Also, by using a lot of candles in various colors, shapes and sizes, even the most elementary of Christmas decorated rooms become aglow with the Christmas spirit!

Check out this video for a peak at our downsized home. I would love to have you join us at my facebook group Lifesizing for the 50+ here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LifeSizing.

If you cannot already deduct from my interior designer perspective, less is definitely more as we decorate our homes for this beautiful time of year. By giving sincere evaluation of what is used or, better yet, not used to decorate our homes, we will achieve a sense of cheerful and peaceful spaces that speak volumes of holiday joy and peace that we all want for all those we love and care about in all our life stage seasons.

Living and Loving life together,

To order your very own signed copy of my book  with special Christmas pricing, click here!

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  1. Linda Holt December 5, 2020 at 6:47 am

    I love seeing your beautiful new home and your downsized decorating. When we downsized three years ago I went from 18 large plastic bins to only two! It was so hard at the time but now lugging two boxes down from storage vs. 18 is a breeze. I do miss a couple things I gave away but it quickly passes as I look at the very special treasures I kept. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Mitzi!

  2. Linda Holt December 5, 2020 at 6:55 am

    Hi Mitzi, I love seeing your beautiful downsized decorating. When we downsized three years ago I went from 18 large plastic storage bins filled with Christmas decorations to two! I was so painful at the time because I loved everything. Now that we are in our condo, lugging down two boxes vs eighteen is a breeze. I do miss a few things I donated but it soon passes when I look at the most special items that I kept. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

    1. Mitzi December 5, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Oh Linda I so hear you on not missing all that work of hauling out all those Christmas containers! Yes, there is a trade off but now we are the ones to celebrate in our downsized homes with less work and less stress. Merry Christmas to you and your family too! xoxo

  3. LINDA MERRILL December 5, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Great tips as always Mitzi! I live in a very small cottage, so my decorations have to be equal to the scale of the house, or it will feel overwhelming!

    1. Mitzi December 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm

      thanks Linda! You totally get it that your decorations need to be in scale of your new home. I bet it is so wonderful!

  4. Leslie Carothers December 5, 2020 at 11:11 am

    There are so many great tips here, Mitzi, but most of all, I really LOVE that view from your windows in your new home. How beautiful!

    Happy Holidays to you and Bob and your family!

    1. Mitzi December 5, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks Leslie! You would so enjoy sitting in our living roon that we actually live in a lot due to the ever changing view from these wonderful windows.
      Wishing you also a safe a joyful holiday season. You can now celebrate your major success with the virtual showhouse, a true gift of major success!

  5. Josh Menning December 5, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Such great information! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Mary Ann Benoit December 6, 2020 at 1:53 am

    Wonderful tips and video. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful house and wonderful Christmas ideas. I have always celebrated Christmas with downsized decorations. For me, the magic is in all the beautiful lighting:)

    1. Mitzi December 6, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      You are exactly like me, Mary Ann enjoying the beautiful Christmas lights. Thank you for loving our last best next!

  7. Lisa A Peck December 6, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Great tips! I have actually purchased ornaments over the years planning for them to be given to adult children so they can start their own tradtions. They are all already labeled! So in a few years I hope I will have an easier time downsizing Christmas

    1. Mitzi December 9, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      No surprise Lisa that you are already ahead of your downsizing being the smart lady that you are in design and life. And, lucky kids!

  8. Michele December 9, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Thank you for sharing your tips. This could not have come at a better time as we are moving and this will help so much!!

    1. Mitzi December 9, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Michele i am delighted to hear that my post was timely and helpful for you. Good luck with your move!

  9. Amy Wax December 10, 2020 at 10:51 am

    What a wonderful post! I really appreciate your tips about keeping mind the scale and the sound of your colors.. A concept people don’t often talk about. I hope you enjoy your holiday season to the fullest!

  10. Libbie@alifeunfolding December 10, 2020 at 5:03 pm


    What a timely post for me. I am feeling a bit sad as I face the fact that downsizing (which happened in August) also means I have to think about what to let go of for the holidays also. Reading that I am not alone helps. Thanks!

    1. Mitzi December 17, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      I understand Libbie as truthfully I actually grieved letting go of the majority of my former outfits for professional events and etc. In so many ways our clothes are our identity so shedding this is definitely not easy. But my saving grace was to buy new clothes for the new Mitzi and her new lifestyle. I must say it has helped a great deal as I navigate my new lifestyle looking my best.

  11. Lauren December 12, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    I really like these tips, Mitzi … they’re a perfect fit for where I’m at in this stage of life. While I enjoy having enough decorations out to make our home feel more cozy at Christmas time, I really don’t have the patience or motivation to spend a lot of time decorating and then then having to put everything away again. A little here and a little there is plenty for us now. And yes, strategic use of red with lots of natural greens is my favorite way to go with minimalist Christmas decor!

    1. Mitzi December 17, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you Lauren for your comments that resonate exactly like many of us…especially not having the patience to spend tons of time on this and then the dreaded putting it all away again. You have figured it out so good for you!


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