This year it was hard to get motivated to decorate for Christmas, but I did and glad of it. However, we live on a gravel driveway off a gravel road and have two huge house dogs, so the house requires frequent vacuuming and dusting. Prior to decorating, every surface gets wiped down thoroughly, crevices vacuumed, then the Santas, Gnomes, Village, small decorated tree, and linens are brought out. A couple of weeks before Christmas, we go to one of the local Christmas tree farms, pick a fresh tree, have it cut and decorate it. Though it is pretty to look at, all of this just contributes to the mess. The tree goes up between the living room windows and door, so every time the dogs go in or out, tails swat the tree. This one really held it’s needles well, drank quarts of water each day, and was still pretty supple this morning, but every other surface was so dusty I couldn’t stand it another day.
I was awake early and instead of just lounging about, the tree was undecorated. This was challenging as Ranger, the Mastiff decided that since I was in the living room, he would be too and parked right in front of the tree. The stand we bought years ago at the tree farm holds lots of water, so after all the ornaments and lights are off, I have to sit on the floor with a dish pan and a turkey baster and siphon off at least a gallon of water before the tree can be removed from the stand and dragged outside. Usually a trail of needles follow me, but surprisingly few today.
The linens were all washed and folded, the Village dismantled and packed up, the small tree that sits on the jelly cupboard, soft sculptures, nut crackers all packed back in the big plastic totes that store them 11 months of the year. After lunch, the Santas and Gnomes were each wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in their totes. All shelves, mantle, tables, and other surfaces dusted, floors vacuumed and mopped, and Christmas has been put away for another year.
It always makes me a little sad to take it down, but cleaning up the dust, dog hair, tree needles, makes me feel better about the house. Last year, the totes were all stored in a guest room closet, this year, I returned all but two of them to the storage closet in the basement. The two that went back in the guest room are the two with Santas and Gnomes that are just too heavy for me to comfortably carry up and down the basement steps.
The ceramic Snowman and snowmen pillows will stay out until I am tired of snow, that hasn’t happened yet this year.
Soon the pumpkin pie and eggnog will be gone and Christmas will be but a memory. For a couple years, we have celebrated New Year’s Eve at Mountain Lake Lodge, up the mountain from us, enjoying the dinner, party, overnight room, and breakfast the next day. This year, we will stay home, it just isn’t safe to go out. Let’s hope 2021 is healthier and less contentious politically than last year. Wishing you all a healthy, happy New Year.