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Thoughts on ordinary and not so ordinary adventures in the life of one Mom

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Less Like Christmas

Every year,  I approach the task of removing the Christmas decorations with much dread.  The tree, garland, lights and holiday knick knacks usually go up with so much exuberance and transform our house into a merry wonderland.  Yet, once Christmas is over, I  turn on my decorations, finding them the most depressing sight on earth.  Suddenly the tree looks dark and misplaced, the stockings remind me of dirty laundry and our prized Animated Victorian Couple looks downright creepy.  Within a few hours of the last present being opened, I want my house back so that I can start the new year fresh.    By the time Boxing Day rolls around, I feel like one of those hoarders that keep their tree up year round.

I was so aware of this impending turn of events that at the start of this holiday season, I seriously contemplated not even putting up a tree.  The kids rejected that silly idea and once I finally got the tree and lights up, they did the rest.  As they carefully placed almost every ornament in nearly the exact right spot, they reflected on each, sometimes remembering where we got it, or its significance, often commenting on whether they thought it was cool or not.    The realization that my children had memories of our family Christmases prompted by the habitual act of decorating, shouldn't have surprised me, for that is exactly how I felt as a kid when my family got ready for Christmas.

Knowing that my kids enjoyed the preparation and celebration of the holidays doesn't really make putting away all this crap any fun, but it does remind me that setting it all up in the first place was worth it.   We had a wonderful Christmas with special moments that we will likely recall next December, the minute a dusty box comes down from the attic and we unwrap the first holiday decoration.   Now, almost everything is put away; the tree, the garland, the stockings, the lights and the wreath.  What's left, however, is the most daunting task of all - safely wrapping up my delicate ornaments which currently lie in a single layer on my dining room table.  This unwelcome job is usually left for weeks, or until one of my favorites falls to the floor and shatters into tiny pieces.  But now as I stare at my un-stowed ornaments, I see more than an intimidating and unpleasant task.  Like my children, I see each individual ornament, which reminds me of a Christmas memory or, at the very least, a great after-Christmas deal and it makes me smile.  Now, I'm sure the idea of not putting up a tree will never cross my mind again.