Christmas “Downsizing”

By , December 2, 2010

We’re a family that thrives on traditions—particularly Christmas traditions. Many of the patterns and habits we’ve grown used to have had to be re-adjusted to homestead life.

We used to pull out the pile of Christmas boxes the morning after Thanksgiving. In other homes, we could leave them out and available throughout the season, usually set in a guest bedroom, out of the way. In our snug little cabin, where space is at a premium, we’ve had to bring the boxes out more slowly, holding most of them back until they’re needed.

This led us to pack one small box and set it on the top of the pile, to be reached easily the day Christmas begins for us: the box of Christmas mugs.

Christmas mugs warming on the hob, along with the tea kettle and hot milk steamer (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

This seasonal transition requires a bit of adjustment for me, because my Christmas mug is very small. My two favorite “everyday” mugs hold about 40 oz.. I make my morning coffee accordingly. My Christmas mug is a bit smaller than an average coffee mug, even, which means that I have extra coffee left over each morning of the season.

This year, I had an idea: I went to the shed and dug out a little thermos for keeping soup. We haven’t used it much since it holds so little that it wasn’t even an adequate helping for Aly’s school lunches in elementary school. It is, however, big enough to hold the overflow coffee during the Christmas season. It keeps it warm long enough to allow adding a little extra in my morning cup after a bit.

We’ve downsized in other ways, too. We gave away our 7′ artificial tree for smaller trees fresh cut from our property, and even Christmas branches some years. What we’ll do this year remains to be seen. We’re taking it all slowly, bringing out Christmas a little at a time, to make sure it all fits.

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