Ahhh...I can breathe again. :-)
My husband and I both had yesterday off from work (I love Federal Holidays!). We were both up early trying to figure out how to get someone to fix our refridgerator (it stopped working Friday...how's that for timing?), and after doing as much as we could with that, and stopping for breakfast, we went home and started *cleaning*. He took the kitchen (the kitchen is practically sterile after he's done with it), and I hauled out the christmas tubs and started "undecorating" the house. Goodbye, lovely porcelain nativities. Adeiu, bright lights and garlands. Sleep well, dark tree, and absorb light from my living room no more. :-)
The transformation between Christmas and the New Year in my house always amazes me every year. After the tree is down, and the couch is pushed just 3 inches further up, and my chair is pushed 2 inches back, and the ficus tree reclaims the corner where the Christmas tree stood for a month, it seems like there is light and air in every corner of the room. Instead of dark poinsetta placemats and red/green/white candles in the middle of our dining room table, the expanse is made practically bare for January, sporting only a single white crocheted square in the middle for my candle garden to sit on. The candles are cool blue and white, rather than the warm dark christmas colors from before. The fireplace mantle is decorated minimally, with only a few cherished vases and candles to decorate it, and live plants return to thier places above the mantle as a promise of things to come. The perpetual calendar is once again on top of the entertainment center, this year in the company of two beautiful candle sconces that were a gift from my mom this Christmas.
The bathroom counter seems bare after the small tree and lights have been stripped off of it, but also clean and uncluttered. We got a new vaccuum cleaner for Christmas (a Dyson, if you're curious), that we *love*, so our floors are looking rather spectacular as well.
The last thing I did last night was take all the Christmas cards down from where they hang around the kitchen doorframe. I used them to make next year's card list (all those who sent one will recieve one next year), and then I pulled them apart, tossing the backs, and saving the fronts. I noted the senders and the year on the back of each card front, and I'll use those to make a collage with last year's card fronts with clear contact paper soon (this weekend, I think). I can use the collages as table runners, placemats, or counter mats in later years, to remember all the wonderful cards we've recieved through the years. :-)
So yesterday ended well, with a fridge still broken, but a gleaming kitchen for the repair man to work in, and a living room and dining room that are both lovely and uncluttered for the new year. I'll finish the house next Saturday, and be ready for 2006 before we leave to party with friends that evening.
I do love this time of year...now all I need to do this evening is write a few thank-you notes, and Christmas will officially be a thing of the past for another year. :-)