As someone with over 100 Christmas trees, I have learned a thing or two over the years about storage and the many nemeses of holiday decor. Number 1 on the list of this holiday-obsessed Texan: heat. Here are a few tips to help you plan storage now in the winter thinking ahead to the summer so your holiday decorations are in tip-top shape come next Christmas.
1. Keep Your Whites White
White trees and a hot attic do not mix. Same goes for white wreaths, linens and garlands. There is no storage bag strong enough to keep the summer heat from yellowing your Christmas whites. If your attic is temperature controlled, hooray for you. If you’re like me, store your whites somewhere in the house, like a closet.
2. Keep Your Hot Glue Cool
If you have a wreath that has been embellished with a hot glue gun, keep that baby out of the attic or garage. When the temperatures rise, the glue on your wreath will heat up and you can lose ornaments. If you keep your wreaths hung (as opposed to a wreath box), this can mean breakage of fragile bits and pieces.
3. Keep Your Holiday Candles Straight
If you have special holiday candles, please don’t store them in your attic or garage. Pillars will look more like piles or at least misshapen. Worse yet, the candles can liquify and ruin other items in the same storage bin. Sometimes, when you are putting decorations away in January, it is hard to remember the heat of July.
4. Keep Your Ornaments Vibrant
Even without direct sunlight, heat can damage your ornaments, especially vintage ones. Modern day plastics take a licking from the heat a bit better, but if you are like me and collect vintage ornaments, remember that intense attic heat can wreak havoc. Nothing worse than unwrapping ornaments in December to realize things have had paint chip, warped from the heat or worse yet, cracked and broken.
5. Keep Your Lights Working
Most Christmas lighting can withstand the heat from an attic, but every holiday season you need to check your lights for damage. Intense heat from a not well-ventilated attic can melt the wiring on holiday lighting, increasing the chances of possible fire.
I’m the first to admit I cannot store all of my holiday decorations anywhere besides my attic. There are preventative measures you can take, like make sure your attic fan is up to snuff, keeping the heat ventilated in the summer months. If your attic has windows (some do), make sure not to store your decorations near direct sunlight. If something is extra precious, wax, or white, best to err on the side of caution. It may be cold outside now and the idea of something melting or yellowing seems impossible, but go check on your holiday decorations this July and you will know exactly what I mean.