I may well be the last person to take down Christmas decorations. I drag my feet on this every year. Not because I don't like the WORK of it, it's saying good-bye to the season and celebration. I always look so FORWARD to Christmas-time and family gathering. I love all Autumn and really, Christmas so barely falls in Winter..... From October onward I just come alive.
And then it's New Year. A clean slate but wiping it down with disinfection is tough on me. No, getting myself to DO it is tough; the actual act itself is really therapeutic for me. And I thought about this yesterday afternoon as I began undecorating the tree.
It's a slow-go. I haul out the various boxes and with no particular method pluck ornaments off, wrap them in tissue or repackage them in their original containers. It's a RITUAL, I learn. I do this every other year. This tree is the 'ornaments' tree and I alternate with a silver bell tree on even numbered years. All of the ornaments I took down yesterday have either been given to us or made/collected by one of us through-out the years and I'm going back more than 30 years here! They fill 3 plastic bins. They'd all go in one if I just chucked them in...but I wrap them all carefully.
And whether I am wrapping them for storage, or unwrapping them to hang in November, I trip down memory-lane every time. We got this one from Julie when we lived in Brunei, this one came from Grandma when you were born... we painted these with Inka in '98. You bought Marley in New York the year you played in the Christmas Carol as a memento. It's wonderful and as I said, therapeutic because I DON'T just chuck them in a box and dump them in a closet. I linger over it, like Slow Food. And remember.
Barbara gave us those when she lived next door after her house was wrecked by Katrina. Fain sprayed those gumtree balls from our old house silver and gave them to us. Oh look, the Okra angel. (really) One by one, down them come.
And I tell myself, only 22 months to go before I get to see them all again. Like old friends. Next year, I will polish the silver-plated bells and retie all the colored ribbons. Those go back to 1976. Really old friends. It takes a long time.
It's a pretty tree.