Kind reader, I feel compelled to correct a sentiment from my previous post. There, if memory serves, I lamented about how it took hours to put up Christmas decorations on, for example, the foyer staircase but only two minutes (if) to take it all down. I was dragging my feet, if you recall over even getting started on packing away Christmas for another eleven months. My family will attest that I usually have everything down and put away with lightning speed on January 1st! But this time around was different. Chalk it up to this whole aging thing I suppose. I simply was not ready to stop my nightly ritual over the past month of sitting in the near darkness of my living room to admire the lights and decorations on the Christmas tree and fireplace mantle. I wanted to keep all the Christmas memories alive from years past, swirling in my head and heart..yes, even the not so good memories. I did not want to forget the stories of some of my most treasured tree ornaments: The ornament from our week in Hawaii or our long weekend in Alaska… or the two that represent baby’s first Christmas, nor the ornament purchased years ago in a German Christmas market on a frigidly cold day in December….
…so many ornaments (simple and inexpensive, I might add) and with each, a recollection dear.
So, when I took the tree down on January 6th, I managed to spend as much time (if not more!) with its “undressing” as I did in its adornment. I didn’t plan it that way but after five minutes into the process, it evolved quite naturally and I think it may become my new post holiday ritual. It came, however not without caloric implications. Sigh.
Indeed, I do believe I actually gained a pound in my effort to slow the process of putting away Christmas (which is not quite how I wanted to start my New Year’s fitness resolution). How did I accomplish such a feat you may wonder? My strategy was genius–so it seemed at the time–and took the better part of the day. So, if slowing things down is on your list of things to try, say for next holiday season, here is what you must do:
- Take one or two (max) ornaments down from the tree and take special care to wrap them just so and place them thoughtfully, mindfully, in the appropriate storage container…
- Then take a break. This step is paramount. Step one was, after all, emotionally taxing…
- Fix yourself a cup of coffee and grab a holiday cookie. In my case, I had a large holiday cookie tin filled with homemade Pizzelles.
- Sit down and savor the cookie whilst admiring the tree. Then, of course, you’ll need to spend time cleaning up the powdered sugar that has fallen everywhere.
- Return to step one to begin the process again.
So, I have packed it all away, save for the outdoor lights which is not in my job description (hint, hint Rocket-man!) and am officially kissing Christmas 2019 goodbye. Now begins, in earnest a scaling back on all things coated with powdered sugar and the like.
I’m okay with that. Christmas 2020 is 351 days away. Besides, patience is a virtue, right?
There is bliss in that.