I have to go all George Washington and the cherry tree today.

I cannot tell a lie.

I. Am. Overwhelmed.

Truly.

Most of the time the aforementioned statement doesn’t apply to me.  Not even a little.  Normally, I’m almost never overwhelmed.  I wake up every morning with ideas and plans and a to-do list and I wake up and jump out of bed and drink coffee and start the day’s race from the very first minute.

I squeeze every last little drop of activity out of every little minute.

I multi-task.

I plan and organize and go and accomplish and never miss a beat.

But this past week I hit a roadblock.

A roadblock that looks….

….like this.

Sigh.

Please tell me we can still be friends if I tell you that this is my upstairs landing.

And the best part?

These are a SMALL PORTION of the Christmas boxes I have.

YIKES.

Last week we brought them down from the attic and put them on the landing and the spare bedroom and the dining room table and the middle landing.

And then?

THEY ALL JUST SAT THERE.

I walk by all of these boxes EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I look at them.

I wave.

I open one or two and look inside and see the Christmas decorations and then?

I just close it back up and go downstairs and pour myself another cup of coffee because…just between us…truth?  The thought of unpacking one of these boxes just seems overwhelming right now.  The thought of putting up a tree or two or three or six or seven trees is a mountain that I can’t climb.

But here’s the challenge.

I write a blog.

And I’m hosting an open house in two weeks.

And we have so many Christmas events already planned.

And we are having our annual Christmas caroling party again this year.

And trees that look like this.

And this.

And this.

And this?

They don’t show up.

If you don’t unpack the boxes.

So I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose and a plan.

If you are like me and you ever get overwhelmed during the holiday season, here are my tips to un-overwhelm yourself.

These are the EXACT things that I do when I start feeling like the holidays are a mountain that I’m never going to climb.

(total aside:  some of these are a little random—but I’m just going with it)

1. I make my bed.

2. I call my mom.

3. I find a sweater with a collar and long sleeves that I can wrap around my fingers and thumb.

4. I part my hair on the other side.

5. I put on red lipstick.

6. I buy myself a package of face wipes to make it easier to take off my makeup at night.

7. I remember the real reason for the season.

8. I add anything peppermint to my holiday food choices.

9. I buy a new pair of fuzzy slippers.

10.  I call my mom.

I know this list is random.  I get it.  I understand.  You were probably expecting much more sage advice about making a to-do list or taking a little at a time or setting aside an hour to tackle a specific project or something brilliantly, organizingly wise.

There are so many posts you can read about de-stressing for the holidays filled with wisdom and layers of organizational charts.

But for me? When I’m stressed.

I find that when I treat myself.  When I take a moment to stock up on me and the things that are truly important.  When I press pause and take a moment to heal my insides from all the chaos.  When I take a moment to get my heart and my soul right and ready for the road ahead.

It makes all the other tasks easier.

And so today?

I’ve talked to my mom.

My hair is cute.

My bed is made.

My lipstick is on.

And I’m going in.

I’m starting with the red tote on the left.

I’ve got this.

And guess what?

You’ve got this, too, friend.

Truly.

You’ve got the holidays and Christmas parties and lights and the decor and the planning and the stockings and the family get-togethers and the meals and Thanksgiving and the hustle and the bustle.

Just take a moment.

And celebrate with your heart.

Comments

  1. Image for Lindsay Lindsay

    And I thought it was just me! I have a list a mile long and am still sitting on the couch with my coffee, staring outside st the fall color.

  2. Image for Linda Chauvin Linda Chauvin

    This post could not have come at a more perfect time. I’m overwhelmed and have an awful cold and a booth that is waiting to be Christmas-ified. But my coffee is ready and I will plow through because now I know I’m not alone. Thanks for the pep talk, girlie!!🤗🤗

  3. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I totally understand. We just moved to a much smaller house with VERY little storage, so I've had to downsize my decor:( There just aren't as many surfaces to display things! But it feels good to know I did this and I'm decorating in a new way that feels fresh and different and more me. I kept a few standbys that I could never part with and they will always have a place. And your heart and soul have always been right!♥

  4. Image for Barbara Smith Barbara Smith

    I love your writings!!! A gift beyond gifts for writing! Bless you sweet friend. It's okay to go simple this year if you want. Do you think you will cave to the minimalist ways this year? I love all, ALL your decor and Christmas fluff!!!! One day at a time! I love the "call mom". We are blessed if we can still say that! Thankful for you dear!! Sorry....random comments! Have a blessed day!

  5. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Oh dear. I can't imagine starting with the Christmas decorations this early. I am usually about a week before Xmas, and there have been a lot of years that everything comes down Xmas day night..lol... But ...today it is snowing...and that perks me up and puts me in 'the mood'...(a little...hehe! )

  6. Image for Joy Joy

    We’re in a new home for the holidays this year as well. I almost have all of the boxes unpacked and the thought of getting the Christmas boxes out is ....daunting!! I think I’ll take a little time for myself just like you!! Have fun with it! You will love it when it’s done!! 🎄♥️☕️

  7. Image for Donnie Donnie

    You are my Barnabas for sure today. Nice to know someone else has to do some mundane - nothing to do with the task at hand - rituals to get calmed down and ready to begin. Can’t wait to see all your bounty set out and sparkling. You’ve got this girl!

  8. Image for Eileen Eileen

    Truer words were never said. I'm older than you and have made some decisions in my life about the holidays. We downsized and no long have big trees, just table trees, coffee cup trees, cute little trees. Where did the ornaments go? Red ones and childhood ones to the grown children(remember, I'm older than you) . The pastels go singly in china cups, all over the china in the cupboards, garlands, and piled into glass containers, bowls working themselves into vignettes. Nothing is the same each year because everything is packed into the four boxes, max, that I use for Christmas and new ideas form when I unpack each year. Same thing for Autumn, which is my big love. Five tote boxes, limit!! I shop the house and arrange and make vignettes that I put on trays and plates so they are moveable. I also go yard saleing and find sweet treasures to add to the mix, keeping in mind that it has to fit into the boxes. You, on the other hand, have a blog and committments to that blog, plus you are now back in your new old home, lucky you, with a large house with all kinds of nooks and crannies. I can't wait to see what you do to the place!

  9. Image for Renae Renae

    You can do it girl!! At least you don't have a boss (or a committee of bosses) who have basically abandoned you to run the show without their input...so get in there and decorate!!

  10. Image for Yvette Yvette

    Celebrate with your heart... Always. ♥️ Love this! I am having knee surgery the day after Christmas and I am overwhelmed with trying to minimize with my decorating this year, which is very hard for me. I love Christmas and all the decorations are one of my favorite parts. Thank you. ♥️

    1. Image for Jenifer Jenifer

      Oh, Yvette!! I am 6 weeks out from a total knee replacement. Halloween had about 7 pumpkins that are staying through Thanksgiving. (I’m hosting dinner) I don’t want to do much decorating because it’s all on me! Unpacking, decking, undecking, then repacking!!! Yikes and bah humbug! We won’t even be home for Christmas! So, I completely understand how you feel!! Go slow, rest and heal well!! 🙏

  11. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    My incredibly loving and smart MIL has always said that the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time 😊 You got this girl!!! Have a wonderful weekend 🌲

  12. Image for Anna Anna

    Your post made me feel so much better. I’m not the only one! I think I’ll start to get some things done today. Thanks!

  13. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Maybe you should downsize the decorations so it doesn't seem so overwhelming. I did that by keeping my favorites and it helped me. Good luck. You have time.

  14. Image for Kathy M. Kathy M.

    Love your honest thoughts about being overwhemed. After many years of stressing myself out trying to make the perfect holiday I realized somehow it all gets done and if not perfect no one notices. The other thing I discovered was the older I get the faster the months and seasons past by and before I know it this Christmas will be a memory and another will be here before I know it. We all just need to stay in the moment and enjoy all the blessings we have.

  15. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I sure needed this post, Girlfriend! I am definitely overwhelmed. Still working on the quilt for my son. Who knew little squares of fabric could be so frustrating? The seams aren't matching up. I've sewn a zillion seams and taken out just as many, trimmed and retrimmed them to make them more uniform. Now they're even smaller squares. Ugh. I've still got to make an outfit for the wedding. I've still got to figure out some craft projects for the kids' Christmas gifts. I haven't even begun to plan my Christmas decorating. Triple ugh. Well, tonight I'm going to take your advice and take time for myself, I'm thinking bubble bath, classical music and a hot toddy. Thank you.

  16. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Sage advice during a time that so many get overwhelmed and need a boost. Take care of yourself, regroup and take it slow. I have to be honest, I would be overwhelmed if I had that much Christmas stuff to look at as well. You have so many great things I would have a hard time making decisions with all of it. Looking forward ot seeing what you create this year.

  17. Image for Basia Minta Basia Minta

    You know, this is actually the best advice for prepping for the pending Holidays. Self-Care is such an important thing to do for everyone and it gets put aside so much. So thank you for reminding me to never feel guilty for taking time for myself and do what I need to do get grounded in order to handle a big To-Do list. How can I give 100% of myself when there is only 65% of myself to offer?

  18. Image for Jessica Sommer Jessica Sommer

    Omgoodness it’s like you’re sitting next to me! Garage of holiday decos waiting, party of 300ish at my house in 3 weeks, middle daughter’s (aka the kid that’s ALWAYS overlooked) 9th rollerskating llama party (??) tomorrow, sons 6th bday in weeks, blah blah blah BUT I I have an always bitter and angry MaMa (aka MeMe to our 3 terror blessings) to weather through the overwhelm. So thank you for the post as my crazy brain loved the company this morning!! Ok gotta go label and mail hundreds of party invitations. Just wrote at the top of my list ‘BIBLE STUDY’ so I’ve got some shot of making it happen today :). At the end of it all, it’s a good overwhelm but hells bells that doesn’t make it easier! In it together!!

  19. Image for Carrie Carrie

    So sweet. And how blessed you still have your Mom to call!! ( This is my first holiday without my Mom~ but she's in Heaven with her parents, my brother and all of her memories. She knows who we are again~ She lived with Alzheimer's for 11 years!) Hugs to all the Momma's out there! Don't be overwhelmed...one box at a time....one step at a time...one day at a time...you got this, RockStar!

  20. Image for Jillian Jillian

    LOL. Well,Same here. I must have at least 25 bins and many of them are the double size. So... I just put ups 5 trees, three are big size, two 5 ft. and then there are the many little size ones. I tell myself there is no race to the finish and it would be ok to have a more simple decor this year. But usually it gets mostly done by Thanksgiving. More like a Christmasgiving around here. You could always help a student out and hire one for the day to work for you. I am thinking that way now.

  21. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    How you know the content of my heart, I'll never know. But you do. I've gone to the basement and looked at the boxes at least three times. I sigh and go back upstairs. SNAP OUT OF IT, BARBARA. Thanks for the encouragement. Heading to the bedroom to make the bed now......

  22. Image for Rhonda Rhonda

    Oh my! I think we can all identify! One sweet thing I picked up: you call your mom. <3 Be forever grateful that you have that wonderful privilege. Mine has dementia, and I really, really wish I could call her and tell her about my overwhelming list.

  23. Image for Claudia A Claudia A

    HA!!! See I knew it!!! I’m not the only one that has a ton of bins for Christmas (that the Hubs complains about EVERY year and tells me I gotta purge each summer). He’s just lucky I don’t bizzerk and randomly start purging his stuff. I get overwhelmed each year and I attribute it to him (which is why I have so much stuff.). He hates getting it down for me and has refused. Then I end up buying more. Btw it’s nice that you still have Mom around to call. I decorate my parents grave each year before anything is put up at home. 🎄

    1. Image for jillian jillian

      My Hubby mentioned he thinks I am a 'hoarder"...maybe that's a guy thing :) All the storage areas here are packed, it's true, but the living areas are spacious and nice. They should be still, I think.

  24. Image for Vicki S Vicki S

    Oh Karianne! I just was talking with my best girlfriend on this same subject just 5 minutes ago. I guess there are a few of us feeling the pressure to make Christmas look like Christmas. My hubby and I also downsized from a very large 2 story with fantastic holiday storage space to a one story with my stuff up in the attic which I can't get to because my son and his family and 4 boys and 1 cat and 1 dog have been living with us for the past 6 months and it appears will be until the end of Nov. His "fridge" is stored right under where the attic steps come down. So I can't even get to my things. Three of my 4 bed rooms are being used by them and I have no to place to store the items I take down to put the holiday things up. So I'm leaving work early today to get a mani/pedi, sit with my mom for awhile at her memory care center (hospice) and then go home and thank God I have a wonderful home and family to come home to.

  25. Image for Claudine Claudine

    Darling!!! You got this!!! Yes your list was random lol I feel overwhelmed often! I avoid the mess... and I’m tackling my office mess today, too!! Thank you so much for showing us you go through the same things we go through!! With Love, Claudine

  26. Image for Cynthia Nessel Cynthia Nessel

    Oh goodness! I feel that way too but thankful I put all my boxes under the deck and just bring up one at a time! It feels less overwhelming and I’m thankful I can do that. Did you like the post I did about you?

  27. Image for Shelley @ Calypso in the Country Shelley @ Calypso in the Country

    It always helps to call your mom...Luckily, the decorating chaos won't be happening around here until the day after Thanksgiving. We host each year and I like to keep it fall until then. But on Black Friday when everyone is knocking each other down at the stores, my kids and I are lugging bins up from the basement. Good luck digging through yours. I know everything will be beautiful! Cheers! Shelley

  28. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne you can do it! That’s right start with the red bin on the left. Besides you have those apprentice Woods elves to help decorate! Waiting for your next post with Christmas completed and pictures!

  29. Image for Jo Jo

    Prayers and hugs and thanks for being real. One box at a time. We are ever grateful that you soldier on and share the process. Good coffee, great mom and perserverance....what a combo!! Can't wait to see the results.

  30. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I'm with ya, sister. We have weekend guests coming next weekend, so "Fall" is still my decor theme, then immediately after that I'll start taking that down and fitting it into my ONE huge bin of FALL, and start getting Christmas up from the basement. Since it's the first Christmas with BOTH kids not living here, and me actually at home working, Maybe I can let that de-stress me a little . . . MAYBE. I'll keep Mom on standby!

  31. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    Soul sister... You’ve got this!❤️ You’ve inspired me to get on with it too! And it helps so much knowing I’m not alone! PS - This morning’s devo is pg 41 of your book. John 14:27 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Perfect! 😁🎄👍🏻💕

  32. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Oh, Mom's know what to say to bring comfort, don't they? You'll be fine. Give yourself some grace. Why do you need to use it all, or do it all? I often think, in my life, it is because of the expectations of others. Over the years I have learned the simplier I make it, the more beautiful the space is to be filled with love and laughter of others. There is such freedom in the simple, not to mention the clean up in January is so much easier. Enjoy what you do, use only what you love, feel no guilt for not decorating to the hilt, keep the main reason for this blessed season always in the forefront, and always call your Mom.🎁

  33. Image for Sara McGee Sara McGee

    I hate the dragging out stage too. It makes such a wreck of the clean house. I hate that part! Oh, but when it is through......it’s so worth it—until you have to take it all down!!

  34. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Hey there! I'm sorry that you've been feeling overwhelmed, but I must admit that I'm a little comforted by it as well. I love, LOVE, love Christmas - the lights, the color and - as you said - the TRUE meaning. However, when all of the boxes are pulled from the closet and piled wherever we can make a space for them, it's just absolutely overwhelming! I live with a lot of it, but I really don't like clutter. The boxes just being there are stressful. Thank you for sharing. I don't know about the red lipstick and I can't call my mom, but I can tackle one thing at a time. We generally decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving, so - for now - the boxes stay in the closet and I relax and feel just grateful! The tree in the pictures is absolutely beautiful.

  35. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I hate to say it, but I have a limited amount of festive. I can't start this early or by the time the Christmas season comes around I have had enough of the glitz and that feeling is gone. Maybe it is because I live alone and don't have others around me to rev me up, but I just can't do trees and garland and lights and carols now. The calendar has to change to December, and even at that things go up slowly. I don't want to peak too soon :)

    1. Image for Nancy Nancy

      You can call me! Or reply to me, anyhow. See my comment, below. I give YOU permission to just NOT decorate like Macy's this year.

  36. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    You've got this girl!! I know your house will be beautiful for the holidays because I know you have a beautiful soul! Many blessings this season and thank you for all you give us throughout the year!

  37. Image for Nancy Nancy

    The thing is, and I think you already know this, you don't have to use all the boxes in order to be festive. Just do a tree for your gifts to sit under and call it a day. That will probably make you excited about some other decorating, so you maybe put a wreath on the door, or some Christmas soap in the bathroom, and call it a day again. It's OK to take years off. Jesus doesn't need a big old shebang of coordinated decorations, and neither do you. When it feels like a burden, just don't do it. It's liberating. My mom died on Christmas eve several years ago, and the next year (and the year after that) I just couldn't bring myself to do anything. I dragged myself weeping to put up the Christmas tree and dig out the stockings, and it was still Christmas, and it still is, even if I don't switch out the Blue Willow to Christmas china and make six kinds of cookies and handcraft a spruce wreath and stick pine branches into an urn on the front porch. I give you permission to just NOT do it.

  38. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Perfect post... I'm 'behind' as the blogger timeline goes. I have a contest I have to get finished (I'm JUST picking out the paint!), and walls to trim (i.e. coral room inspiration), and then paint and post about by 11/30.... and work FT. Yep. It will happen, and the Lord will give me strength. However, the Christmas stuff may not happen according to the almighty blogger-timeline! It's okay. Next year is going to rock! ;-)

  39. Image for Sue Sue

    Thank you for knowing so many people are feeling the same way as you. Tackling a project always seems easier when you have help, even if it is on the sidelines. Hope you have a good weekend.

  40. Image for Judy Judy

    I just had a little cry, because I know what you mean about calling your mother, but I can't. My mama's been gone a few years now, but was gone before that with dementia and I still miss not being able to call her. So I said a little prayer for you and your mama and all of the other mothers and daughters our there. Have a beautiful Holiday season.

    1. Image for Jan Jan

      Judy, I thank you for your prayers for other Daughters and their Mom’s. My prayer goes to you. My Mom has been gone since 2008. I wish I could call her everyday. We never forget. We just have their love. Hugs for you Judy. xo

  41. Image for Karen Karen

    Thank you sweet & precious friend! I thought I was the only one feeling this way! This post reminded me of one you wrote some time ago. If I'm not mistaken it was about having so much in the way of Christmas Decorations but when you took a depth breath and realized you didn't have to use it all it was so much better. Sending lots of Love! xo

  42. Image for Nicole Nicole

    Just when I thought I couldn't love you more, you go and show me your upstairs landing. And I know. I know I can have you over for sweet tea amongst the bins of Halloween decorations begging to be put away. And you would be ok with that. You made my day Karianne, thank you for baring and sharing your beautiful soul!

  43. Image for Anna Belle Anna Belle

    This is the time to bring in paper boxes. As you make decisions on decorating, also make decisions on things you can do without. They go in the paper boxes for someone else to enjoy. Donate the items you don't love!

  44. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I am not ready to get started with Christmas stuff yet. Do you realize that most of our stress is created by us thinking we have to be super woman. Why in the world would you want to have 5 Christmas trees when one beautiful tree would be enough. Ladies, it's time that we simplify our lives. Let's return to the days gone by when life was so less complicated and we actually spent quality time with our friends and family. I am much older now, and I remember when I used to run around trying to be all things to everyone. Please stop thinking your house has to be decorated like a department store. Simple is so much better. Believe me, your husband and children will love you just as much because you won't be so burned out.

  45. Image for Jan Jan

    So ...you can tell I am not doing anything I am suppose be doing. I am sitting at my table eating pizza and reading your blog. My hair isn’t combed and I don’t have red lipstick on. But after reading your blog I realize I am not alone facing the holidays with a sigh. Tomorrow the hair gets done, the lipstick gets put on and I will have a spring in my step. Thanks Karianne. You are the best ! 🤗

  46. Image for Gail McCann Gail McCann

    Oh my yes!! Overwhelmed and at my age (60-something), it's just too much. After 40 some years of collecting Christmas decor, it is indeed overwhelming to the point where I haven't even decorated in 2 years. By the time I get to it, it's already the middle of December and that's way too much trouble for just a couple of weeks. This year I said for sure I was getting all the stuff down from the attic the first week of November. But it's Nov. 9th and it's all still up there. I need some energy, motivation, help, and maybe something I don't even realize. LOL. But good to know it's all of y'all too!!! Not sure it will help but comforts me.

  47. Image for Amber Amber

    Honestly, this year I feel like I JUST got the Christmas totes put away in the attic and now it's time to bring them down again! Oh wait! That's because I DID just get them put away! They sat in half of our master bedroom until August waiting to be drug up the ladder into the attic. headpalm! Goals this year...totes not just packed but put back up in attic by February at the latest! ;) I might need an accountability partner...

  48. Image for Denise Jones Denise Jones

    I'm at the age where all the children and even grandchildren do not care about a decorated house. So, I have cut back and try to do a theme like "Let it snow" for Dec and Jan. I just want to let all you out there that are cutting back, do not go to Micheal's and see their new retro Christmas line, I carried around a darling Pixie, and such cute felt garland and thought about getting a cart......I stopped and put them down and decided not to go to any stores before Christmas is over.

  49. Image for laura laura

    my youngest daughter helped me rearrange the furniture in my tiny apartment and it looks and feel a lot like you upper landing right now!! sunday i'm renting a storage unit and will be clearing out the stuff to make way for Christmas!!

  50. Image for Cindy in Oklahoma Cindy in Oklahoma

    So timely. If you don't regularly purge some of that stuff somewhere along the way it will begin to suck the life out of why we all love Christmas so. Because I'm not a blogger I don't feel the need to decorate before Thanksgiving. But oh how thankful I am that some of you do. Your creativity inspires me to put my red lipstick on and get going, too! Wanna know what I did this morning after rearranging Christmas tubs in the guest bedroom? Ummm...Yeah, I had to make room for guests to hang guest clothes in the guest closet. HAHA... Anyway.... I was looking through a bin in my little hobby closet and decided to organize what felt like a thousand small quilt pieces from a sack I found at my grandma's house after she died. I had a long conversation with myself and solved most of the world's problems as I straightened, sorted and stacked them in a basket. I found enough already sewn together strips and stars and blocks that I think I might be able to continue... (she said, while quietly wondering if that will be before she finishes the Christmas ornaments she started about 3 years ago, which are also sitting inside another basket, or later, or never.) Anyway, I said all that to say that sometimes you just need to organize one mess in order to clear your mind for diving into another one. And ditto on previously posted advice not to wander through Michael's Christmas aisles. It's crack, I tell ya.

  51. Image for Marian Zimmerman Marian Zimmerman

    you felt that way about the pumpkins, its normal, go find a sale, hobby lobby has 50% off , new styles of softness, I'm in love with all the deer on the market this season your choice of white, gold, silver, wood and more , and I'm also trying to think how I can use plaid this year and be soft.

  52. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Bloggers sure have lots of pressure on them this time of year and I cant image how difficult it is to come up with fresh and new ideas each holiday. Just looking at all of your bins makes me anxious!

  53. Image for Wanda Wanda

    I agree. Before you begin decorating have a family meeting. Let each person express their thoughts about Christmas and what decorations they would enjoy helping put on display. As each person expresses their desires and their dedication, you end up with a true "family Christmas" and a lot less stress.

  54. Image for Young Young

    Just remember, Thanksgiving comes FIRST!! If we focus on all we have to be thankful for, these decoration problems will be done with a song in your heart. If we sing and are joyful then others will join in and help and the work will be done in a jiff!! Optimistic!!

  55. Image for be be

    Just remember, Thanksgiving comes FIRST!! If we focus on all we have to be thankful for, these decoration problems will be done with a song in your heart. If we sing and are joyful then others will join in and help and the work will be done in a jiff!! Optimistic!!

  56. Image for Laura Laura

    I love your list! I started feeling that holiday overwhelmed feeling last night (I also have a broken washing machine!). But I can do those things... coffee, lipstick, cute hair. And remembering the reason for all of the preparations, my beautiful family. One Christmas tote at a time...

  57. Image for Dorca Dorca

    Omg that is exactly how I felt when I went into my garage and look at all the red containers that take almost the entire length of the garage😟..at least you are a blogger and have all these activities and beautiful blogs to post. I just LOVE CHRISTMAS so I go all the way out for me. Once I put my music on and start remembering why we celebrate Christmas and sharing with family and friends the task becomes easier..I love your post they always put a smile on my face.

  58. Image for Suzie Woodward Suzie Woodward

    First of all, I own my own little boutique and Christmas is exhausting in a good way! ;). So of course, a tree etc...goes up in the shop! BUT...... The biggest dilemma for me when decorating for Christmas at home is what to do with alllllllll the STUFF I absolutely love and adore while all the Christmas decorations are up. Truth? I avoid decorating certain rooms because I love the way they are now so much, I don’t want to mess it up with glitter and snowflakes. Scrooge, right? And is it the same for you, that it never goes back quite the way you remember it? Last year, i put up one pencil tree next to the fireplace with vintage ornaments from my family....and somehow it just seemed enough. But truly...what do YOU do?? Put everything away? Fill all the red totes with your most loved items? Help!!

  59. Image for Tara aka Stilettos and Shiplap Tara aka Stilettos and Shiplap

    I'm overwhelmed too but I have a different problem. I have 1 tote. See, I started fresh the year before last and I didn't have a blog at the time and I didn't post photos of my home every day on IG back then. And it seemed like a good idea....back then. Now - not so much. I have this big empty house and I have a christmas home tour in a few weeks and I have a tree. And not much else. And I make everything on a very tiny budget and I blog about it. And I'm overwhelmed. So I'm gonna go brush my hair and put on some lipstick (wait! do I even own lipstick?) and maybe I will even make my bed. And then I'm gonna pour myself another cup of coffee and.....I'm gonna try to come up with some new amazing ideas to make my home look like Christmas! Maybe I should just come over and help you unpack all your totes instead! lol

  60. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    A little late to respond, but this also hit me square on. My friend of six years died September 8 of two kinds of cancer. He had been sick for four years. None of his children stepped forward and I couldn't let the contents of his apartment go on the curb, which is what happens in Colorado when someone elderly has no one to clean out his or her apartment after they have been declared in arrears on their rent because they are dead! It is just awful. I finally got permission from a daughter to clean out the apartment and just finished this past Wednesday. Because I found so many things, scrapbooks, photo albums, award plaques, keepsakes, that I just could not throw away or donate my entire one-bedroom apartment looks like your upstairs landing. And I accepted an assignment to make the centerpieces for the apartment building's Thanksgiving dinner next Saturday! Magically, yesterday evening, my creativity kicked in and I have continued making arrangements in a magical variety of interesting containers all morning. What a blessing, what a solace the creative muse can be. Thanks for sharing.

  61. Image for Debra Matcovich Debra Matcovich

    I’m dwelling also. Just the thought of decorating someone else’s home for Xmas and mine is daunting. So right now my main objective is to find white pretty sparkly Xmas tree garland, that’s not a arm and a leg, for me. Thank you always for your honesty in your blog. I truly enjoy it.

    1. Image for Lynda nash Lynda nash

      I get it!! I unload my totes and my family may hide. (I have a separate storage building). A pot of soup, Christmas movies, and Christmas smells help motivate me. The family does pitch in when requeste.

  62. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Oh! KariAnne, thanks for sharing your heart with us! We appreciate you so much -- and thank God for the special person you are. You have been prayed for, dear friend! So many of our friends are feeling overwhelmed this year with Christmas decorating and we were just having coffee together and commenting about how we are all feeling somewhat overwhelmed this year. For me, I find that as I get older, I just want to have a "less is more" home for the holidays. As I have been going through all our Christmas décor, I have been letting go of lots and giving it to family and friends that would appreciate having some, It always feels so good to know that others appreciate what you are giving them, We have always said that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season"! It is so important for us to remember this as we prepare our hearts and decorate our homes for this wonderful time of year. God Bless You, KariAnne! Keep looking up to Him!

  63. Image for Beth from Iowa Beth from Iowa

    If you haven't tried them yet - limited edition peppermint bark oreos are the best - we're going back to the store to stock up!!!!!😘 My mom is in heaven but still gives encouragement!! She used to put tinsel on our fresh tree strand by strand - even though she was allergic and would have a rash all through the holidays! Her birthday was December 24 - Christmas was HUGE for us. Stay sane we're all counting on you - oops - NO PRESSURE.

  64. Image for Palvena Palvena

    Oh how I wish I could call my mom. I lost her two years ago and the missing her never stops! For all you that still have your mom, call her, hug her and love on her! Love your blog. And I must get started on all those red totes in Kentucky.

  65. Image for Jaybird Jaybird

    Perfect post!! I think I am past the age of overwhelmed, and into the phase of what you see is what you get :^) I do love your attitude and wish I could lend you a hand!! I will think about you when I am unpacking my boxes of "stuph"!! Take my old lady advice.....just because you own it, doesn't mean it has to be displayed this year!! Pick out your very favorites and send the rest back to storage until next year when you will be a bit bored with your new old house and want to decorate it allllllllllll up!! Blessings, J

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