Wednesday as I contemplated four boxes of Christmas decorations, I wondered if this was the year to go minimalist. And although my friend Karen, who is minimalist personified, encouraged me to walk away and go drink something instead, I couldn’t resist the siren song of stuffed and appliqued snowpeople, hand-carved wooden Santas and glittery silvery stars — if I could only find them. And that reminds me: Why do we use the terms “up” and “down” when we talk about Christmas decorations? I’m always “putting boxes up” and “taking boxes down” when clearly the main direction is “out” … of the guest-room closet. But I did restrain myself when decorating this year, remembering that every January 2 is the day I deeply regret my early-December enthusiasm of adding touches of red and green to every empty space — and some not so empty. This year, inspired by my friend Debbie’s elegantly simple holiday mantle, I tried to adopt an unusual-for-me less is more approach for my own. I mixed candles, a pine garland, red and green glass bottles and a lantern that usually sits out on the deck in summer with some snow people I’ve unconsciously accumulated through the years. It’s fresh and clean — I think, anyway — and gave me the added annual bonus of decluttering and deep cleaning the mantle. One holiday decorating project down, @$%& to go.