With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are There Rules About Boxing Up Christmas?

Those of you who know me might be shocked to learn I haven't taken my Christmas decorations down yet. It's true... haven't even started.
The vintage ornaments I featured on this blog's header during the Christmas season were a special gift to me from my widowed neighbor. He passed them along to me last year as a remembrance from his late wife who had passed away the year before. She and I were gardening buddies and I miss her sorely. The unique trinkets are a happy reminder of her. I like the ornaments so much they are displayed separately from the Christmas tree as a focal point in the breakfast eating area.

You know what I like almost as much as the ornaments? The boxes that hold them. My sweet neighbor kept the original boxes which is really so like her to do. So, instead of packing the boxes away after I decorated, this year, I left them stacked in the garage so I could enjoy them each time I came and went.
Strange. I know.
It's about memories ... I think. Can you imagine the days in the 50's when a box of glass detailed ornaments was .99? Well, mind you, I don't remember buying any since I was a mere child, but I do remember Woolworth's and other five and dime stores like it. As a child I would save my nickels just to make a trip to one of those neighborhood stores and buy something for myself. Target is the place kids go now I suppose. Me, too, for that matter.

I do have a rule about boxing up Christmas. The house must be clean and everything in its place before I get started. Another strange quirk, I realize. But, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with that whole thing of not having messes around me if I can help it.
This year I left over half of my decorations in their nicely labeled clear bins where they are stored the other 11 months of the year. It was the year to simplify! So it isn't that it would take me a long time once I got started.
I'm having some cathartic moments as I write this post. Blogging is so much cheaper than therapy as one wise woman I know likes to say.

The twin table arrangements I made for the dining room this year really pleased me. And honestly, I don't really mind looking at them still. To make them, I cut some brown crape myrtle branches from my garden, spray painted them copper and added some pinecones I had on hand. The greenery I picked up at Home Depot in their throw-away free-pile and the pheasant feathers I keep on hand for arrangements.
Do you think I could get by with them on the table for a little longer? Amazingly, the Frasier Fir branches are not dropping needles everywhere yet.
More than anything I think my procrastination has to do with the mess that ensues with the tear down process. I definitely don't like messes. Why create a mess when everything is already in order? Oh, I know all the logic that answers that question.
-It's a short term mess for a long term goal of getting your house back to normal.
-It won't take as long to get them all down as it did to get them all up.
-Just think once it's all done, you won't have to think about it for another 11 months.
... and on it goes. None of which has motivated me all this week.

The top of my buffet cabinet will be easily put away. Instead of the elaborate candles, lights, and fixtures that in past Christmases were placed here, this year, I painted some pine cones I keep on hand and piled them on a couple of my favorite cut glass cake plates. Easy peasy stuff. I think I'll start there with the tear down process ... maybe tomorrow.

What about you? Do you have rules and personal time limits for getting Christmas tucked away?


mjm said...

I normally start taking down the decoration after New Year's Day. This year I had some extra motivation with an impending move, so I tackled them as soon as I returned from vacation...of course it was after New Year's Day. I also didn't put as much up this year because it looked like I was going to move.

Now the corner that housed the tree from Thanksgiving to New Year's is starting to be filled with packed boxes!

gigi said...

if there are rules, i don't want to know about them. i could be breaking them, but that is not like the 'ten commandments', is it? i have my tree still up and plugged in every night, just so i can continue to enjoy it. i think if i had an artificial tree, i might just leave it up all year! my tree shed very little this year, so it still smells wonderful and is very green and full. most everything else is at least moved from the house to the garage, where the chaos has taken over. every year i promise myself to have some reasonable order to how things are packed together, only to give up at this stage just to get it done and over with. how can we move on into a new year when we are still dragging the last one along with us? by the time i get it all done, my vim and vigor at starting new resolutions has waned, and January is nearly gone. but i do love it while it lasts, Christmas i mean!
p.s. i love those boxes you've shown too! brings back so many memories of those trips to the neighborhood five & dime with my four little ones, each with a dollar or two to buy something for each other. there was something magical about a store filled with everything for a nickel or ten cents. i am still using some Christmas coffee cups i got at the local Woolworth store, and i still love them!

Meems said...

mjm, Good for you. You are way ahead of the game. Boxes already? You are super-fast (as one almost 3 yr old, I know well, likes to say).

Gigi, I think they are unwritten rules... like so many in our own heads. sigh.

The smell of the tree will be missed. But then again it is part of the season... and seasons come and seasons go... kind of like you said... how can we move on into a new year when we are still dragging the last one along with us?

Well, I got started early this morning and the tree is in the trash pile for waste management to pick up today. Bye, bye tree. Thanks to you and your tree buying tip this year... my tree was in great shape to the end. It wasn't dropping needles until we hauled it out the door --- then it was raining needles.

I guess I better keep going now that I have the momentum AND the inspiration. I really prefer to be outside in this beautiful weather!

Blessings for your day, meems

Oh, I thought you might like the boxes, too. They are just so heart-warming to me.

Rissalee said...

This post is worth reading again and again, just to look at the pretty pictures. Also, did you snap that header photo yourself? GORGEOUS!

I took all my stuff down, out of sight, but it's still stacked up in the guest room guilting me day by day.

CoachK said...

In years past I took everything down the day after Christmas because I was tired of it all but this year because it was such a good Christmas I actually left everything up until the day after New Years and really enjoyed it all. Different than you Meems, I do all my cleaning AFTER I take it all down. I started at 9am and finished taking down, cleaning and rearranging my house at 6pm.

By the way, I love the woolworth boxes! K

marmee said...

you know me and rules, i try to avoid them if at all possible especially self-imposed ones. i love the first photo i would have put that one has my header. love it. those boxes are priceless. what a sweet gesture from your neighbour. i might have put them front and center somewhere in the house. your twin center pieces are gorgeous, yes leave them until they are falling all over that table.
i have an idea for your rules put them on little bits of paper and put them in a container and pull just one you have to stick to each year and the others need just to stay on those bits of paper not in your head.

gigi said...

what is with your dating calendar for the comments? i am still trying to face up to the new year 2009, and your post has us 3/4ths of the way through into 09/09?

gigi said...

speaking of bargains! well, you were speaking of the good ole days at the five & dime. anyway, i was in Wal-Mart (that famous place for saving) yesterday, and i got 5 boxes of glass ornaments for 50 cents each, and two 25 ft strings of lights for only 30 cents each. it pays to go browsing after Christmas! and since i still have not packed up, i just put them in the bins for using next year!
i am thinking of starting a new ministry called PUTOFF - Procrastinators United to Officially Forego Forever - whatever you intended to do today that will always wait until tomorrow;-)
any joiners out there?

Meems said...

RissaLee, You are my biggest cheerleader as always.
No, I didn't take the header photo- I stole it out of the photo gallery that comes with the computer. sigh.

See, that guest room stacking up thingie is what I'm talkig about. Why take it down just to have it in the way somewhere else? Not to add to your guilt... I'm just talking to myself.

Coach, The day after Christmas! Now that's ambitious. I always look forward to the day after Christmas to collapse from the 6 weeks since prep for Thanksgiving. No way would I take on putting away Christmas the day after.

I agree with cleaning after if you can get it all done in one day... what a great feeling when it's done!

Marmee, I wasn't real thrilled with that first picture but I was thrilled with my tree this year... even though it was the same as it's been for several years. The tree itself was perfect though and that always counts for a lot. glad you like the centerpieces. I have put away everything so far except those. I've left them and I think they'll do just fine for a couple more weeks even.

I'm digging your idea with the bits of paper... very interesting.

Meems said...

Gigi, Hey, I fixed my timestamp for comments ... it was just turned around with the day first and then the month. But I don't like it that way so it is fixed... thanks for the heads-up.

You DID get some bargains. The LAST thing I need is more ornaments but the lights are always nice to have on hand to add to or even as extras.

I got a big chuckle out of starting a "ministry" to forego "forever". You know besides the fact that the title made me laugh... it just seemed extra funny since ministry is usually about getting folks to understand there is going to be a "forever" and then getting them to enjoy "forever". Lately I think I could qualify to be the president of your new club... errr, ministry I mean. :-)