Take Down Decorations??

Yeah, yeah, I know. Some people think that January 6 (the Epiphany or the “Little Christmas”) is the last possible day for taking down decorations. And some people even start taking them down December 26! As if there were a timer running somewhere, and the time for Christmas had run out. Well, not in my house! I try to make sure I take the decorations down before St. Patrick’s Day, and I certainly don’t take risks with a real tree, but many of my favorite decorations don’t have a shelf life. In fact, they only look better as gloomy January days wear on, and we need the joyful spirit more than ever!

 

I especially enjoy looking at some of the Christmas scenes my husband and I created. This is one of my favorites: a snowy day for a sleigh ride!

 

But I promised myself I would start putting at least a few things away, so today I started by taking down the stockings. I have one for my daughter and her husband, my son and his wife, and my two grandsons. And, of course, I have one for my husband and one for our dog, Hope!

 

Putting Hope’s stocking away makes me chuckle when I remember the year I tried to buy a Christmas gift for each of my grand-pets. Dogs (like Buddy and Willow) were easy. Even cats (Rudy, Oreo, and Precious) easy peasy. Michelangelo the turtle was a bit much, but I lost hope when I tried to buy a gift for Bert, my daughter’s snake. (Shudder at the memory!) After contacting several pet stores I learned that there are no known Christmas gifts for snakes. I thought there might be agility activities for snakes. Or stuffed mice on a stick!! It didn’t seem quite fair, but there you have it. I tried! My daughter thought it was pretty hilarious that I was so determined to make sure no one would be left out of Christmas at my house.  

 

Enough wool gathering – back to the job at hand! Fold each precious stocking in preparation for next year. Place them in layers of tissue inside the huge tubs I use for storing Christmas decorations.

 

What else? Oh! The stocking holders. They will look pretty silly sitting on the mantel with no stockings.

 

Hmmm. I guess I could pack up the holiday tablecloth and napkins. I already laundered and folded them, so they could go in the tub with the stockings. Since they aren’t part of the “decorations,” I wouldn’t miss them so much.

 

I am making progress here. What’s next?

 

Oh. This year’s special Christmas cards can go in next. I don’t keep all of them, but some are just too special to give up. Cards from family members or cards with children’s drawings. Cards with pictures of snow-frosted pine forest. Have to keep them! Old friends, new friends. Friends who sing. Friends who read. Children who read my book and loved it! Those get a special place in the tub to remind me that I am very lucky to have written a book for children. AND to be working on another one. AND that’s enough un-decorating for today!