After the decorations come down…

I started this post a few days ago, and then decided my first priority was a post for my church’s website. Its title ended up being the same as the one I’ve used here, although the content is totally different. It’s prompted here by the current mess that surrounds me.

This is just one small area — just the loveseat in our family room. You have to imagine beyond the green storage bin on the coffee table to the other seven bins and assorted cardboard boxes also waiting to be filled.

Decorations aren’t what Christmas is all about, of course, but I still enjoy the cheer and sparkle of the seasonal decorations. Even more than how they look, I like the nostalgia and the memories they evoke.

If you had peeked in my windows on a December evening (but I’m glad you didn’t; that would be creepy), you’d likely have found me in the semi-darkness, sitting by the fireplace and squinting at the tree lights to exaggerate their sparkle. It’s pure magic! It takes me back to the awe and wonder of my childhood Christmasses.

We begin decorating the house at the start of Advent and reluctantly begin un-decorating after Epiphany…the Twelfth Night of Christmas. Unfortunately, since our preference is for natural rather than artificial greenery, the life of our tree is limited. After a month indoors, even with regular watering, the needles begin parting company with branches. It’s time.

So the tree is down (it will be chipped and recycled), the decorations are being packed away and the New Year is under way. What now? First is always the replacing of furniture and a thorough vacuuming. (It doesn’t matter how thorough, we’ll still find fir needles in odd places next summer!)

This is the point when melancholia at the bare decor conflicts with joy at the lack of clutter. Everything looks so clean, but I find myself rearranging furniture, switching artwork, maybe adding a new plant — whatever it takes to compensate for the perceived sterility.

Sometimes … sometimes, that means picking new paint colours. I often wondered why we always seemed to tackle renovations in the winter months. Now that’s beginning to make sense. I’m not sure what this year’s project is going to be, but stay tuned. Now that the decorations are down and packed away, I’m taking a good look around.

~  ~  ~



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

7 thoughts on “After the decorations come down…

  1. I put my decorations away as well yesterday. In Spain Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is very important, so we keep the tree up until then. The house always seems a bit bare. Even the dog misses the Christmas tree. I keep the cards up for another week though as some only just got here. All the best for 2018!!

  2. We took our tree down this morning. It’s our third Christmas with an artificial tree, pre-lit, which means minimal mess (no tree needles) and no battle with tangled strings of lights. We have simplified that way. Having a major reno underway simplified decorating, too, and I was fine with that this year.
    Happy New Year, Careann!

  3. A week later and everything’s back to normal — at least a winter normal. We had a great birthday celebration here last weekend and the house was filled with family, food and happy laughter. It felt best that way!

  4. An interesting tree, Carol. Is it a type of fir? Douglas or Fraser? Nova Scotia is famous for it’s balsam fir. Sorry, being in the business I notice those things. BTW it was lovely.

    1. It was a Douglas Fir, Laura … one we cut ourselves at a local tree farm. Until the last week, it was beautifully shaped. Then the branches began to dry and sag, sticking out at unruly angles, but after a full month we could hardly complain. 🙂

      1. A month is a long time for a tree. It actually did quite well. I like the decorations. I don’t particularly like decorating trees. Maybe becasue I work in them for so many months.

  5. My tree was tiny and so all I had to do was set it on a shelf. Your tree was beautiful, Carol. I hope to be better organized next year. By the time I visited the stores in PV all the trees were gone.

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