Keeping Less, So Others Can Have More

This time each year I find myself in a funk.  It is between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  While I know there are many people who now decorate for Christmas even before Thanksgiving, I cannot do that.


Just one of our Thanksgiving patterns.


Thanksgiving is such a big holiday for us, this year including 57 people, which is down three people from the high of the last two years.  I am still putting away tables and chairs and turkey plates at the same time I am trying to decide how much (or how little!) decorating to do for Christmas. Also, the fact that my birthday is on November 29th has resulted in me delaying any Christmas decorating until at least December 1.  It is now December 6th, and I am just beginning to see the light at the end of the turkey holiday and able to begin to prepare for Santa and his elves.  And I am in a funk because I know that at best, again this year, we will only have two weeks to enjoy the efforts of all of the Christmas decorating work.  In recent years I have asked myself is it worth it? So far, the answer has been “yes.”

Last year, I came close to not putting up a Christmas tree.  In addition to all of the other variables just mentioned, we were going to daughter Tara and family’s in Georgia for Christmas, so we would have less time in Raleigh than even usual.  As much as I tried to talk myself out of it, I succumbed and put up a tree, and was glad that I did. (You can read about that and even see the tree on the December 15, 2016, blog post.)  And this from one who loves the beauty of Christmas, and who for many years decorated three live trees!  But that was when we hosted at least two large Christmas parties, and it seemed to make more sense.  (Why, I do not know.  Is decorating for others more important than family?)



Granddaughters Mary Grace, Elsie, and Virginia with Dr. Danks (Mike) and Nana (Patti).

This year we will be in Raleigh for Christmas, and the grandchildren (and their parents, of course!) will be with us.  That makes me want to decorate more, but I am having a slow start. Is it age?  Perhaps.  I remember the years that our parents chose to only have a table top tree, and I thought that was sad!  Have I become them?  Maybe.


But there is another variable.   Excess, and the feelings created by dealing with the magnitude of holiday stuff.  In my recent move to clear some clutter, I know that I need to get rid of some of our holiday stuff, and I feel myself resisting that. There are many memories in all of that holiday stuff.  I can remember where most of the ornaments came from and the memories are what I want to hold on to the most.  Is that possible without the tangible stuff? I hope so.

Ornaments and other holiday decorations should be viewed as clothes we no longer wear. If we did not use them last year, should we let them go?  Surely in those memories are decorations that no longer fit who we are now.  We should give those up to others who may in fact not have enough decorations.  This can be thought of as “Having less so others can have more,” which is similar to “Live simply, so others can simply live.”



Many of these ornaments will remain in our collection.


I must stop writing and get to work separating ornaments and other decorations.  I will Keep Less, So Others Can Have More.



About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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