Babs, who has recently partnered with Adobe Express to create stationery designs that make the holidays easier, says that taking Christmas decorations down her way will also make them easier to put back up again next year.  ‘For full disclosure, I don’t take everything down right away – we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas,’ she says in an exclusive interview with H&G. ‘I don’t take decorations down until after January 2nd. However, if you’ve got a real tree, it dries out, gets older, and starts to look messy.’ So, this is how she recommends taking it, and the string lights wound round it, down without the stress. 

1. Encase your tree in a plastic bag

If you have a real Christmas tree, removing the decorations then carrying the tree through the house usually results in a trail of sharp needles. However, Babs says that you can limit this destruction with nothing more than a very large plastic bag.  Babs’ top tip is one to note for next year, though it can still work this year:  ‘Before you put your tree in the stand, get a plastic bag, fold it in half, cut a little corner out, and then open it up. The trunk of the tree will go in that little snip that you made in the bag,’ she says.  ‘When you’re ready to take your Christmas tree down, you pull the bag up over the tree and get it out of the house without a total mess of falling needles and broken branches. That’s especially helpful if you have a large tree because it gets messy as the season continues.’

2. Wrap string lights around a wrapping paper tube

Christmas lights are notoriously tricky to store – and can often be in a tangle when next Christmas comes around.  ‘One of the things that probably drives you crazy is taking down the lights and opening the box the next year to find they’re a tangled mess,’ Babs says. To prevent this, she recommends wrapping the lights around a hanger, a piece of cardboard, or a tube from your wrapping paper. ‘This will keep them from tangling,’ she says. ‘Everybody has hangers, so put them to good use. Wrap the lights around the hanger and then store the hanger.’ You can find out more about Babs’ partnership via Adobe Express (opens in new tab) and see Babs’ templates here (opens in new tab). You can also shop for her book below.  In her book, Babs shares recipes and hosting tips that will change how you host every event in the calendar. 

 Barbara  Babs  Costello s tips for taking down holiday decor    - 33