Christmas decorations are a source of joy during the holiday season. From the glowing wreaths hanging on light poles downtown to the handmade ornaments on your family tree, Christmas ornaments set the stage for seasonal celebrations. For decorating enthusiasts, purchasing new ornaments and decorations is part of the excitement.
Fresh string lights and themed decor create a delightful change from one year to the next. As you contemplate buying new holiday decor, what can you do with last year's decorations? One possible answer is to donate those ornaments that you won't use and recycle anything that can't be donated.
Donating Christmas decorations gives families with a smaller decorating budget a chance to feel the yearly magic. Discount string lights and charming sets of themed ornaments could be just the thing to bring joy to another family. Let's dive into a helpful guide on the best ways to donate your unwanted Christmas decorations.
Choose Your Charities and Drop Boxes
The first step is to know where your decorations are going. Charities and thrift stores tend to be very local, even as branches of a national non-profit organization. Look up nearby holiday and all-year donation programs and how the items are distributed to the community. Pick your favorite three and call ahead to make sure they can accept the type of decorations and packaging you plan to send. You may need two or three destination charities to cover all your items.
Offer the Decorations to Friends and Relatives
Don't forget to spread the love with those you know. Ask around if anyone in your circle of family, friends, coworkers, or acquaintances is in need of a few extra Christmas decorations. You never know when you can brighten someone's season with a few boxes of snowflakes and painted orbs.
Clean and Sort Decorations by Type
Next, prepare your decorations to be donated. Remember the rule of donation: prepare the items as you'd prefer to find them if you were receiving Christmas decor from someone else. You would feel better buying clean, gleaming ornaments that had been loved one Christmas before, but not if those ornaments were dusty or frayed. Repair your ornaments and wipe the dust cleanly away as you prepare them to be boxed for donation.
As you clean, also sort your ornaments based on their size, type, and theme. Ball ornaments can go in a group, fabric gingerbread men in another group, and hanging icicles in yet another.
Pad and Pack Ornaments in Category Sets
Now pack up your decorations in the way they'll be donated and possibly sold. If you still have the cupped display boxes for ball ornaments, use them. If you are packing up breakables, wrap them in newspaper or packing paper. For soft and non-breakable ornaments, you can bag them in clear zip bags.
The best way to pack is in sets, like you might buy to build a themed Christmas at home. Imagine the families you are helping when putting together your decoration donation boxes. Pad the breakables and present appealing displays from bag sides or cellophane box panels.
Spool Up Lights and Garlands
Never pack string lights in a jumble. After all, who wants to buy string lights only to find them in an impossible (and possibly broken) mess?
If you don't have enough spools, pick up a few spare light spool frames as you prepare to donate the decorations. Secure one end and carefully wind the lights from one side of the spool to the other. You can do the same with garlands and ribbons slated to be given away.
Recycle Ornaments Not Fit to Donate
You will likely come across a few ornaments too worn out or broken to donate. When this happens, set the decoration aside to be recycled or reused. There are several ways to recycle Christmas decorations. If you're crafty, you can take them apart and rebuild the good pieces into new ornaments and decorations. If you don't have the time or skill, you can still recycle decorations so that the materials they are made out of can be reclaimed.
After Christmas, many neighborhoods have string light drop boxes designed to reclaim the copper and plastic from the lights that burn out or are damaged. You can also look for recycle containers for the colored plastic, glass, and fabric of ornaments.
Preserve and Remake Family Keepsake Ornaments
You may also have a few decorations that are too special to donate or recycle. Ornaments made by your children as toddlers, or even ornaments several generations old, have a lot of meaning attached to them. Even when these ornaments wear out and can't be hung on the tree anymore, you still may want to keep them. These precious decorations don't have to be phased out if you are willing to remake them.
Preserve keepsake ornaments in fit-together plastic orb ornaments or encase them in small box frames that can still hang on the tree or sit on the mantelpiece. For some decorations, you can sew them into new background fabric to preserve the simple handcrafted style.
Review Your Donations
Before you get ready to go, review the boxes and bags of donations you have prepared. Each Christmas decoration should be packed to show its contents but resist bumps whenever possible. Ensure the load is appealing and shows the joy and value in each package of second-hand decorations. With attention and care, these decorations can bring a second family joy just as they brought you joy in the past.
Drop Off or Schedule a Pick Up for Donations
Finalize your donations by getting in touch with your selected charities again. If they do donation pickup, schedule your pickup time and be ready to help load decorations into the van or truck that arrives. If not, then confirm a time you can swing by and drop off a few boxes of decorations that can then be given to families in need of a magical Christmas. Once the items have passed from you to the charity or non-profit, you can sit back and feel the Christmas cheer of giving all over again.Ready to start planning your decorations and select your next Christmas theme? So are we! Shop online or visit one of our locations in Florida