Given that for months the Mid-Atlantic weather has been the dreariest in my reasonably sharp memory, it was particularly tough to think about taking down the Christmas regalia. You may have read my earlier post about the fun time we all had dressing up the house for the holidays, which were grand start to finish. The tree held up well, but by the middle of last week the needles had become noticeably dry and more brittle. That’s my annual signal to stop turning on the lights—safety first and all that. So, by Saturday, we knew it was time.
Taking down the tree for me is almost as much a trip down Memory Lane as the decorating is. Maybe moreso, because I always resort and repack. Yesterday, I emptied two sealed shoeboxes that had been sitting on the basement shelf since our last move, in which I had stored more of the ornaments we had when the kids were babies, plus a number of those precious handmade ones from their primary school years. There is absolutely no way to put a price on such treasures, as any parent knows. Now, those special ones, plus all the others, have been carefully stowed away in secure, accurately labeled containers that stack beautifully on a basement shelf. The larger containers, not pictured, hold the red glass balls, of which there are many, and the lights, of which there never seem to be enough. I store the miscellaneous decor—the Santas and so forth—in the dresser of one of the guest bedrooms.
We ushered out the old and welcomed in the new with a thorough cleaning. I kept the poinsettia, which still looks bright and healthy, and put a pale blue and green cloth from Provence on the table. The whole process took a significant chunk of the weekend, but now we’re good to go till next year. This week, I’ll find some bulbs to force or maybe a cyclamen, for color and a little more oxygen to help chase the winter gloom. A simple pleasure if ever there was one.