The day has come. I can’t put it off any longer. The Christmas decorations must come down. Yes, it is almost mid-January and we still have a fully decorated tree standing in the living room. No, I’m not one of those people who loves Christmas so much that I want to leave it up year-round. Quite the opposite! I’m so ready to reclaim my house. However, the shear volume of work involved is daunting, and thus I have closed my eyes to the task. But today is the day.
I’ve never been a “yank it all down on the 26th” kind of person. I love how my house looks decorated for Christmas and our tradition has been to wait until the new year. But over the years there have been times that life has taken off at full gallop after the holidays, leaving me little time to tackle the task. This year the combination of a very hectic December followed by elder parent illness followed by my own flu bug…..well I just ignored the decked halls around me.
I actually made a start this weekend. Dear hubby, who CANNOT WAIT for me to get this done, dragged in some boxes and staged the rest right out the garage door. Without saying it out loud, he is clearly shouting, “GET ON WITH IT!” You might ask, “why doesn’t he get on with it?” Seriously? What woman in the world trusts their spouse to pack away their beloved ornaments. What man in the world understands the complexities of storing wreaths and bows so nothing gets mushed. Over 24 years of marriage we have collected a not insignificant amount of decor that requires very specific packing and storing to preserve the memories contained within. Oh no, not for a hubby to manage. This is a woman’s job if ever their was one.
Ok, ok….I DO realize that a few men exist who are very capable. In fact, the man who comes to mind is the husband of dear friend Neely Alt. Pat is a man I would have given credit to at one point. Super organized, with a keen interior design sense, Pat had promise. And then came the 9-1-1 Christmas. A desperate call from Neely to please come rescue her Christmas tree sent me racing to the scene of the crime. In a moment of “trying to help”, Pat had decorated their tree on his own, starting with using the outdoor light-nets meant to be used on your shrubs. The result was a predictable oddly squarish light design on the tree. I was aghast and quickly undecorated and started over on this poor, pitiful tree, saving my friend from holiday disaster. Pat was offended, and Neely was relieved, and I was reminded that most men just don’t get it when it comes to Christmas decorations.
So it’s up to me to untangle the tinsel and de-deck the halls. I absolutely know that when it’s done and the last bit of glitter has been vacuumed away I will feel such a sense of relief. I can reclaim my space and enjoy that particularly unique clean, barren feeling that only comes once a year. It’s the very definition of the month of January: a new year, a fresh start, life decluttered and austere and ready for all those new goals. It might be a feeling that only lasts a few weeks, like most resolutions, but for a moment life feels calm and poised for promise, the messiness of what came before packed in a box and stored away. I’m ready! Cup of coffee in hand, I’m getting up right now and getting started….really, I am…..