Is there anything more depressing than “de-decorating” after Christmas is over? Well, yes, I suppose there is, but it’s always such a letdown to finally admit the holidays are over. There is such a sense of anticipation building up to Christmas. There is the shopping, decorating, Christmas programs, Christmas parties, the once a year Christmas music, special goodies to eat, and everything else that goes into the climax of having everything come together on Christmas morning. (Or, if you cheat, Christmas Eve. But you folks who open your presents on Christmas Eve are doing things all wrong. Just sayin’).
Putting up Christmas decorations takes a lot of time and energy, but in the end, it is worth it. This year, with Thanksgiving coming early, we had almost a whole extra week to enjoy our decorations. Over the years, we seem to have accumulated a lot of decorations—six large plastic tubs in the shed, not counting the several boxes in the storage closet—and each decoration must be displayed, as it has special significance. Even the ones that don’t look quite so good anymore, ie., shabby and pathetic. Our Christmas ornaments are mostly collections from places we’ve been, with a smattering of ornaments that were gifts, or made by the kids, so each one must hang on the tree, no matter how ugly.
Our New Year’s tradition is de-decorating. Yeah, I know we are wild and crazy people, but if you read my blog from last week, you already know that. This year, however, was a little different. On the Friday before New Year’s, we came home from work to find our Christmas tree had fallen over. This was in spite of the heavy twine anchoring it to the hook in the wall. We learned to anchor the tree to the wall after a similar episode a few years ago. Of course all the pretty ornaments were in the front, so they took the biggest hit, including the delicate hand-painted one we bought just this past summer in Tuscon and the porcelain wooden shoes Doug brought me from the Netherlands in 1993. Okay, I guess technically, you can’t have porcelain wooden shoes. To clarify, they were shaped like wooden shoes, but made out of porcelain. A couple of the ornaments took double hits, having survived being glued back together after the first incident. Anyway, at that point, it just made sense to take the tree down early and leave everything else up until New Year’s.
But after spending three hours taking down decorations and packing them away, yet again, I got to thinking. This business of putting up and taking down decorations is a lot of work. And it seems like time goes faster and faster these days, so before we know it, Christmas will be here again. Plus, you may not realize this, but I’m not as young as I used to be, so decorating and de-decorating is more of an effort than it used to be. So here’s what I’m thinking for next year. I’ve been in the homes of elderly people who leave their Christmas decorations up year round and I’m about to the age where I can start getting away with elderly eccentricities.
Thus, next year, after decorating for Christmas, I’m leaving everything up. I’ll be able to continue enjoying my Christmas decorations all year and I won’t have the depression that accompanies taking everything down. Nor will there be the work of putting everything up again the following year. There’s only one problem. We always buy a real Christmas tree. I wonder what it will look like in a year, provided it doesn’t fall over.