January 2020



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! 

Horse-drawn sleigh

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.   

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!



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