Our live tree is still up but every so often I hear an ornament slide down a drooping branch and get stuck somewhere in the middle of the tree. It’s almost time. My grandmother and dad are coming in from Queens, NY to visit on Saturday so we just have to keep the tree “alive” until then.

And then after we take down our tree and crazy Christmas town, the house seems bare. It’s the post-decoration blues.

In some ways, it is a relief. It ends up looking like I did a major purge without parting with anything. But mostly, I miss the warm Christ

mas tree glow and the friendly icicle lights shining in from our porch.

So here are a few tips I can offer to improve your home environment (“Mental health tips not offered here,” says the person with a wine problem).


Take the opportunity to rethink your furniture layout. Maybe you’ve moved your furniture around to accommodate your decorations. I know we did. And I’m loving the new layout. Granted this means that I think I need two new comfy armchairs for our bay window. I think I may have convinced my more-spendthrift-than-me husband to get a Karlstad from IKEA — clean lines, practical price, and we can buy from replacement legs that make the piece look a little less … IKEA… and a little more mid-century.
Pair down:

Think about whether you still still need the stuff you removed to make room for your decorations. You might realize the room looks better without them! Starting a new year with fewer items feels refreshing (and makes room for future purchases — excuse for shopping — wink wink!). I’m thinking about pairing down our “artwork” both framed and child created.

Light it up:

Don’t start smoking. But consider your room lighting. We have piss poor lighting in our house. Seriously. I guess we have great lighting in our living room if you don’t want to see the whole room at once — just little snippets that are near the table lamps. Our foyer is so bright you could thread a needle by throwing the thread towards it — bullseye style. I haven’t figured out how to light rooms well but it becomes my obsession for the darkest months of the year.

Make it smell great:

IMG_1407And here’s my pièce de résistance: I make room and fabric air freshener. Since I do not use store bought air fresheners, I make my own. My dear co-writer Merritt can much more accurate explain the dangers of air fresheners since that is her engineering wheelhouse. My rudimentary understanding is “formaldehyde = bad.” So stick around because I’ll be revealing my own personal air freshening recipe and scent blend (like I think I’m a real celebrity)! The picture here is a hint.


What tricks and tips do you have for making your post-decoration winter more cheerful?

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.