How long has it been since you have had company over for the Holidays?

The Holiday season is approaching quickly, and, for many of us, this time of year is quite bitter-sweet.

This is supposed to be a joyous time of year where we get to spend quality time with loved ones.

But, more people than we realize are plagued with the inability to invite visitors into their homes due to large amounts of clutter. Society has dictated that we are less-than-stellar humans if we are not able to keep on top of our "stuff" in our environments.

So, what do we do when we are not comfortable having others in to our homes for the Holidays?

We accept invitations to others' homes.

What happens when we get there? Well, the lovely corporate Retail Big Boys have managed to turn the Holidays into a strongly commercial time of year. Advertising aims at, and targets those of us who love to shop. And, societal norms are now laden with the expectation of giving material gifts to absolutely every single person we have been acquainted with.

So, when we leave our home and close the door on our clutter to travel over to a friend's home for some Holiday Cheer, what do we end up bringing back to our home? Gifts!! More material possessions to simply add to our piles of "stuff". Lovely!!

The worst part of it is that, because these people are acquaintances, the "stuff" we receive as gifts during the season is most likely "stuff" we will NEVER use. But, what do we do? We hang on to all of it for fear of insulting others.

Clutter truly is much like a snowball rolling downhill on a mild day. It grows and festers like mouldy cheese.

I, for one, was TIRED of this cycle, and have managed to implement a new mutually accepted tradition within my extended family. No one buys gifts for any other adult in the family. All the children under 18 get gifts, and that is it.

Kids during the Holidays

Quite a movement.

But, guess what? Our family has now returned to enjoying family time during the holidays. We no longer have to fight crowds at stores, and the stress is greatly reduced. Happiness, bonding, eating, laughing, and watching the children play with their new toys.

Ahhhhhh, the way the Holidays were MEANT TO BE!!!

Holiday Crackers

Rhonda Wilson - CCSPTM
Owner/Operator of
Revealing Assets
Home Staging and Decluttering Services
We transform properties into highly
sought-after products that sell in half
the time and for 7-10% more money.
Through personal experience, extensive
research and training, and a compassionate
approach, we De-clutter living/work spaces for
up-lifting and positive life changes.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Comment balloon 9 commentsRhonda Wilson • November 21 2010 01:40AM


My wife hates the house cluttered; we have that minimalist look going on over here; not alot of fluff here. Clutter free is less stressful too.

Posted by John Cunningham, Helping Phoenix Sellers and Buyers find each other (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Oh, John, so you are the family who has friends, colleagues, and family members over for holiday cheer, and gives them those little sets of bath products....YOU are the culprit of building on others' clutter!!! LOL.

Just joking around.

You are so right, physical clutter only leads to brain clutter!!

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) over 8 years ago

Good Morning Rhonda,  I agree and yoi wrote an excellent post on the subject!

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) over 8 years ago

Rhonda, I know what you mean... When my sister-in-law left her job to tend to her three girls... At the time I think she had 2... Anyway, since she is the eldest, she kinda' was made in charge of holiday schedules, etc. or made herself in charge as she like to do that ;) and notified everyone that there would no longer be adult gift exchanges since she was no longer working... It changed things up and she also decided NO gifts for children over 17 either. We were the only one with a 17 year old, so he (our son) felt left out. He doesn't like going to Chicago for the holiday anymore... I told him my side of the family hasn't changed tradition and that's ok. You will make your list and you still have us. NO BIGGIE! Every family is different. So, tradition has changed and it's ok... Times change... I still like to give gifts to all our guests that come to our family holiday gathering we have at our house about 10 days before Christmas... It' always nice... ;) I love giving gifts though....

Posted by Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS, "Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) over 8 years ago

Rhonda, that's a sensible tradition. Gift giving should really be for the children. I don't need another tie.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago


That's a sensible solution, and it makes a lot of sense. When a family gets very large, the expense and the clutter can get out of hand.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

Rhonda, it sounds like your family is happy with the arrangements. My family has moved to consumables. No one needs more 'stuff' they may not like.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 8 years ago

That's a great idea Rhonda.   After fifteen years of receiving gifts from my two adult children I had to ask them to please stop giving me stuff.  It was overwhelming me.  I didn't know what to do with it all and I seldom appreciated it as much as the thought of it.    I know it was hard for them to accept but in time they will understand.

Posted by Mike Leibel, Associate Broker - REALTOR® (CIR Realty - Condo Specialist) over 8 years ago

Malcolm, yes, Men do receive many ties and pairs of socks over their lifetime.

Brian, the expense does get quite out of hand. I know many people who max out their credit every year on gifts, then they spend the remainder of the year trying to catch up with payments. The headaches are monumental....all for one day of the year.

Janice, consumables are a wonderful idea. This is especially great if people hand-bake consumables to gift to people. This way, the giftees get to enjoy eating the gifts and there is so much more thought put into the creation of the gifts!!

Mike, I think that all children, when they enter adulthood, go through a phase where they have a strong desire to "repay" parents for all of the strife they put them through. And, many times, if the children have the means to do so, they will go over-board with gift-giving. Then, adults hit a magic age where they shift their values in life to relationships, bonding, and thoughtful actions, rather than buying things.

Stuff builds up, and can create a long list of issues with health, emotional wellness, stress levels, and can even trickle down into quality of regenerative sleep we get at night. The more "stuff" there is in our environments, the more we have trouble quieting racing thoughts when we lay down at night to sleep.

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) over 8 years ago