Kissing Christmas 2019 Goodbye

Kissing Christmas Goodbye: “At least we’re together in the box.”

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:

  1. 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…
  2. Then take a break.  This step is paramount.  Step one was, after all, emotionally taxing…
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Return to step one to begin the process again.
Until next Christmas Mr. Nutcracker

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.

It’s a wrap…well, without the bows.

‘Tis The Season…Once Again

‘Tis the season.

Yes. It’s that time of year….the season meant to be about peace, love, joy, and good tidings, among other things.

It’s starting earlier than ever, or so it seems. Before we know it, it’ll start before Labor Day….which, as we all know, happens to be in September people I’ve got a boatload of catalogs beginning to pile up in the recycling bin. Everyday for weeks now the mailbox is crammed full of catalogs. Catalogs from companies I have never ordered from…and from companies I have never even heard of. Annoying too is the fact that it’s often difficult to throw away catalogs without succumbing to a quick peek through them.  If said catalogs could express themselves I’m sure they’d register delight as in “made you look.” Though I am getting better at financial restraint as we approach our golden years, self-control often gets difficult when I open the pages of, say Sundance, a catalog that I’ve loved for years.  img_0555

Anyhow, I was delighted to be able to have sis and company visit for a few days last week. For me, our precious family time means more wine than usual, wonderful food, nephew snuggles, and the opportunity to shop with someone other than myself. To that end on this visit sis and I leave the boys watching football and we head out for shopping and some serious sis-bonding time.

We head to Bridge Street, an outdoor mall. It’s the first place my husband took me during our first trip to Huntsville, when he was considering a job offer over four years ago. From the airport straight to the mall. Pretty sneaky. I can’t complain. After all, I brought The Poodle into our lives with sly tactics of my own.

“See, Huntsville has some of the shops you like to frequent,” hubby had said as we strolled hand-in-hand, window-shopping, on that hot and impossibly humid May evening.

True. I was hopeful about the whole move to middle-earth thing…. until the next morning under the light of day. As we drove around town my heart sank to my toes.  Rocket-man has taken me to the middle of the earth.  How can I possibly live here?

But I digress….back to the present.

We’ve arrived at the mall and Sis and I have just stepped out of the car. As we turn the corner to head to our first shop we practically run into a ginormous white Christmas deer decoration that is already planted in place…its large red bow fixed about the neck dances softly in the afternoon breeze. Wreaths with red bows and shiny ornaments adorn every light post and Christmas music streams through outdoor speakers. It doesn’t help that at 88 degrees its uncharacteristically hot on this late October day.

I must be getting old I think to myself.  Really, I am not trying to be all Bah Humbug….but for goodness sake…. It isn’t even Halloween yet and everything is decked out for Christmas!  Sis voices the same sentiment before I am on to the next thought.

“I know,” I said. “It seems to happen earlier every year. I get it; businesses have to stay competitive and all but its ridiculous that the commercialization of Christmas has gotten so out of hand that they start pushing it on us well before Halloween. In effect, Christmas is three months long!

“I shouldn’t be surprised really, I continued.  “My neighbors had their Halloween decorations up in their yards in early September!”

“Well, if Christmas advertising and all starts in early October, I suppose I can see why people are adjusting their seasonal decorating,” replies sis.

No wonder people get crazy and often mean-spirited well before December 25th.  By the time Christmas day actually rolls around we are thoroughly sick of the season.

I catch a hold of my growing negativity and a light bulb goes off.  You know what?  Let’s nip this in the bud, like now. I vow to not let Bah Humbug happen to me this year.  Last year, our holiday season was a complete wash.  A nightmare, if you will, filled with tears, months of unrelenting stress, hospital runs and emotions run amok as we handled our mother’s decline.

Let the Christmas cheer begin!

Let the Christmas cheer begin!

So I say:  Bring on binge-watching Elf, White Christmas and every other holiday movie…now!  Bring on Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer a hundred times!  Bring on Christmas lights and Santa, eggnog and peppermint bark (OK…well, not the eggnog…yuck!  I’ll happily leave that for Rocket-man).

So, I’ve got my credit card at the ready to place my order of Panettone from my Olio Carli catalog.

‘Tis the season! Let the Christmas cheer begin…..  Yippee! is my joyful shout.

But ask me again in another week.