And Now It’s Over

Now that Epiphany (January 6) has come, it’s time for me to begin one of my least favorite jobs:  putting away all my Christmas decorations.  Since I put up two big trees, one small ornament tree, and cover almost every horizontal space in my house with Christmas-related knick knacks, packing it all away for next year is no small chore.  It takes me a few days, doing a little bit at a time, carefully wrapping all the breakable ornaments and decorations in tissue paper before placing them in one of the many plastic bins I use to store all my Christmas stuff.

IMG_0934I usually have a hard time getting started, because I really like the way my house looks when it’s decorated for Christmas.  I like the way my upstairs tree casts a warm glow over the living room when I turn on its lights.  I like the way the vintage glass ornaments shimmer on the tree, and the way almost every household decoration holds a special meaning or memory.  I have a lovely nativity set that was a joint effort of my father (he made the stable) and my mother-in-law (she made the ceramic figurines).  Both my father and my mother-in-law have been gone for several years, but every time I look at that nativity set, I’m reminded of them.

And I really, really, like the way the outdoor Christmas lights make the long, dark winter nights bright and beautiful.  If I had my way, we’d all come to an agreement to leave the outdoor lights up through the end of February, and everyone would put up a few extra lights, whether they celebrate Christmas or not.IMG_0950

Eventually, I suck it up and get started taking down the decorations, and it always gets easier as I go along.  With each full bin I carry downstairs and place on a basement shelf, I let go of my Christmas nostalgia just a little bit more, and discover that my house doesn’t really look so plain, even without all the extra holiday decorations.  By the time I’ve packed the last of the decorations away, I realize that I’ve finally let go of this Christmas season, and am ready to plunge into the year ahead, with all the possibilities that a new year brings.

I make my usual vows to live a bit healthier this year, to try to be a little kinder and more tolerant towards others, and to find the courage to chase my dreams a little harder.  I look forward to a few nice snowfalls, and then to the warmth of spring and summer that I know will follow.  And because I’m me, a true Christmas nut, I also know that in a mere eleven months, I’ll get to haul all of my Christmas treasures back out and decorate everything all over again….

27 thoughts on “And Now It’s Over

  1. I too am sitting here gazing at my lovely tree, trying to work up the motivation to take it down. I realized that I actually enjoy the tree more after Christmas because then it’s just a beautiful decoration. Before the 25th it seems more like a brightly lit reminder of all the things I still need to get done before the holiday!!!
    Maybe I will undecorate this weekend? We’ll see. 😊

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    • Sometimes I like the week between Christmas and New Year’s the best, because everyone’s decorations are still up, but there’s little if nothing on our “Christmas to-do list.” I say enjoy your tree as long as you want to!

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  2. And tonight Gary said to me ….Do you know that this tree candle thing is still in the dining room? Yes, I actually knew but …like you …couldn’t quite let go.
    My holiday decorations. .whatever you might call them…are really reaching critical mass and I already have set aside some to give to goodwill or whomever. I am on the buy one eliminate one program but it is really hard…and I do not consider myself a hoarder. There are just so may good holiday things.

    Anyway, Ann, I just want to totally support you on your struggle…..I totally get it. The biggest difference between you and me is that your children may have to deal with it but, as I have no children, who knows who will.

    Patty k

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patty, you are NOT a hoarder! You just love Christmas decorations as much as I do. And if I were you, I wouldn’t worry about how much you have…it’s nobody’s business other than yours! And your house looks beautiful at Christmas, too!

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    • My mother leaves her extensive snowmen collection up through the rest of winter, for the same reason. I have a few snowmen mugs on the top of my refrigerator and a couple of other “winter” decorations that I keep out until spring, too. You’re right, it does help not to have to put it all away at the same time!

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  3. This year did not seem like Christmas at all. Our house is torn apart with construction and my wife got a new job that requires her to get up at 4:30 am and go to bed early. She is the one who loves Christmas the most…. so one day shortly before the holiday, I rummaged around in the basement and found her Christmas villages and arranged them around the house….. it was a pleasant surprise.

    Thanks for reminding me to put them away. 🙂

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    • Sometimes life does get in the way of our normal Christmas celebrations, and that’s always a bit hard, I think. But it was so thoughtful of you to put your wife’s Christmas villages out for her, and I bet she appreciated that more than you’ll ever know!

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  4. Christmas is a warm chaos that begins to chill about week two of January. And then the snore of February has me dreaming about those bright lights just put away.

    Nice post and Happy New Year….Coleman.

    Regards,
    Doug

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  5. I just put everything away, also and every year when I do , I wonder how my life might change the next time I pull everything out. It’s a strange feeling but I think about it every year…:)

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  6. Yes, mine is all tucked away now for another year. The house is clean and spacious once again but somehow lacking that teeny bit of magic that Christmas brings. But it’ll come again soon enough!

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  7. My favorite thing to do during the holidays is when I sit in my den at night. I turn off all the lights, and just let the glow of the Christmas tree lights, and lighted garland, and whatever other lights I may be using indoors, light up the room. It’s so soft and lovely. It brings peace and happiness. My last night being able to do this before I pack everything away is always a mixture of enjoying the beauty one last time, and sadness that it has to come to an end, but…………then we get to look forward to it again! After all, that’s what makes it so special – only experiencing it those few short weeks at the end of each year. If we had it all year round we wouldn’t enjoy it as much. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love sitting and just looking at our tree, with no other lights and the fire going in the fireplace. I feel the same way you do when it’s time to take our tree down. The other decorations aren’t so hard to pack away, but the tree and the outside lights are difficult for me. But as you say, if we had it up year round, it wouldn’t be nearly so special!

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