Monday, January 05, 2009

It's back to the post-holiday grind. Sigh.

If last month was "the most wonderful time of the year," then early January must be the worst. Because of all of my least favorite domestic chores of the year, today holds my most-despised.

It's time to de-holiday the house.

I hate this day. Un-decorating is so Scroogey. I feel like I'm taking a blow torch to Frosty. Or like I showed Rudolph his new 2009 Progress Energy rates.

It's just not nearly as much fun taking all of this down as it was putting it all up. A few weeks ago, the house smelled of gingerbread and cinnamon. Now it smells like sour eggnog and a fresh bottle of Dexatrim.

Perhaps the worst job of the many is the un-trimming of the tree. All of those ornaments that the kids helped put on the lowest boughs are now on the floor beneath an avalanche of dried needles. The scent of pine no longer hangs in the air as I pull off the half-dark lights from the petrified branches; the only things being released are allergens and cobwebs.

But I suppose like this stale popcorn garland, all good things must come to an end, and packing up the holidays is inevitable. One of the best tips I've picked up along the way was to write out a list of the items you need to restock and tape that list to the outside of one of boxes to avoid multiple last minute scrambles to the store next year before you unpack. Mine reads like a note to my future self:

Hey Gorgeous, nice sweater. You need:

1) 1 more strand of Christmas lights. (The one you had wouldn’t stop blinking so you threw it out before someone had a seizure.)

2) 1 pink Advent candle. (Post this on the Easter box because you’ll never find one in November.)

3) More ornament hooks. You’ve used every single one of the 50 you bought six years ago but keep thinking you have plenty. You are down to using paper clips on all of the glass bulbs.

4) Paper clips.

5) A sense of humor, a kind memory and perspective when you open this box. After weeks of non-stop partying, 38 trips to the attic with all of these bins, and glitter and pine needles in every orifice, you had precious little patience left to roll the light strands properly or separate the candles.

Have an eggnog, put on some Bing Crosby and enjoy it. You’ll understand this un-merry tone when the most wonderful time of the year ends all too quickly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We went to Disney (and froze) just before Christmas and left for 9 days in Miami the day after Christmas, so I told my kids to enjoy everyone else's decorations. I felt a little guilty, until I came home Sunday and didn't have to un-decorate. What a treat!
(Oh, and the kids didn't seem to miss the tree cluttering up their big pile of presents...)