I am always amazed at the mess I must make while decorating for christmas -- even though it is fun - it is very messy at my house. We once had neighbors who had the most pristine, spotless house you had ever seen. When she decorated for the holidays she opened the boxes and bins out on the front porch, and the children carried each item, right down to each ornament, into the house and the decorations were put into place immediately. It did help that at the time we lived in the desert in SoCal, you could unpack thinks on the porch without freezing!!! Here it would be a different story - and I'm sure at most of your houses too. Besides, we don't have a very big porch - until we get the deck built next summer.
Boxes and bins of decorations. These all come to our house on Thanksgiving day, after the big feast. They live most of the year in our oldest daughter's garage. I am organized - each bin is labeled with exactly what is in it - it is just that after opening the bins they begin to explode!!!
Lights and Santa hats (for the teddy bears) all over the living room chair . . . (don't you just love the one with braids? That is for Sandra Claus)