Saturday, January 05, 2019


The Floria-Horsman Christmas tree, 2018
Growing up, my mom used to make sure there was at least one piece of Christmas décor in every room during the holidays. This included my sister's and my bedrooms, which often had to make room for a Santa or reindeer on our dressers. Wreaths on doors, mistletoe hanging, beautiful centerpieces on tables, and, of course, the tree. Our home was warm and inviting all year round, but especially during the holidays.

As a kid, I looked forward to some day decorating my own home with similar items when I grew up. And then I grew up. And I realized that everything that comes out has to be put back away.

The undecorating. Ugh.
Sure, it's lots of fun to decorate the house for the holidays. It's an exciting time, you're looking forward to time with friends and family, and it's nice to spruce things up. But then, come January 1, the holidays are over, gifts unwrapped and put away, meals shared and guests gone, and everything has to go back. I hate the undecorating, it is the worst. Which means, of course, I procrastinate.

We don't procrastinate on the tree, of course, because we don't want a fire hazard in our house. But everything else? It could be February or even March before the last pieces of décor get put away. That is, if I was the only person in charge of the undecorating.

But, if you know anything about my other half, I am not the only one who can undecorate, and this particular person gets incredibly annoyed at having Christmas decorations out in February. So, if the décor is still out by January 31st, he dutifully goes around the house, gets everything picked up, and puts it away.

Therein lies the rub.

I have specific boxes for specific items, and each box has written on the outside what is supposed to go inside. This does not seem to matter, though, as each year, when I start to decorate, what I find in each box is usually different from what is written on the outside.

This year the box marked "Standing Santa" had a reindeer in it. The standing Santa never made its way into a box, while the box the reindeer was supposed to be in was utterly empty on its shelf.

I shouldn't complain, honestly, I appreciate that he does it. After all, he didn't unpack it, so he doesn't know which items came from where. Sure, it's clearly written on the outside of each box, but his goal is to put away, not to put away correctly. Over the years, it has created some funny findings.

I have a nativity set given to me by a family very dear to me, made of fragile ceramic. Each year, I find this set packed into a different box. Four or five, to be exact, all of which have said at one point or another "nativity set" on it, and either had it crossed out (or not), and had something else written over it. Or it still says "nativity set" but what's inside isn't.

If a stranger came into our house and looked at our storage area, he would wonder how many nativity sets one family needs.

But finally, this year, we have a teenager who cares. She cares as deeply as her father that not only does the house get decorated, but that it also get undecorated in an orderly fashion. God bless their genes!

Lindsey helped me decorate the house this year and was horrified by the state of the boxes and packing the décor was in, though she did enjoy reading up on the news of the times from 1997. She insisted that we go through all of the boxes that ever had "Xmas" scrawled on them and pull everything out. We found decorating items that she has never seen in her lifetime; we never use them. We purged the stuff that was never used and put out the items we wanted out. Then, on December 26th, we hit "The Christmas Corner," a pop-up store in Southdale Mall with beautiful Christmas décor and bought some new items at 50% off.

Just this past week, she and I undecorated. She insisted we buy a large RED tote, so we could instantly see which tote had Christmas items in it without even having to read the writing on it. Color coding?! What a novel concept!

We took every piece of Christmas décor down from around the house, put it all in the middle of the living room and began to pack. Okay, so I packed it, she directed from her sickbed, the couch, where she has been suffering from a miserable cold for the past week.

At the end we had two large totes and four small boxes of Christmas decor, and one empty shelf in our storage space.

Now I'm kind of looking forward to decorating next year and putting up the new items we purchased for the first time. And...putting them back where they belong.

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