Ahhh...I can breathe again. :-)

jamie_mtDecember 27, 2005

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. :-)

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Yes -- we did the same. Gorgeous weather here -- so DH and I took down the outside Christmas lighted deer -- and the garland -- and the tree inside too!

All thats left -- a single wreath by the front door. And a simple strand of white lights for the kitchen window. Both easily removed -- and stashed. Vaccummed -- dusted.

And we were both delighted with the results of a hards days work!!! LOL!!!!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 11:52AM
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Prior to Christmas I was feeling so overwhelmed by all the Christmas "clutter" in our house. I couldn't wait to take it down! Life was also extremely busy at that time, I was very behind, and I think the decorations were a reminder of all I still needed to do.

Once Christmas was over, suddenly the decorations felt very welcome. I did take down some heavy clutter items and even put a few in the Goodwill box, but the rest is still up and I'm actually enjoying them! This has never happened before.

As I was removing some of the decoations last night, I was surprised to hear my husband say, "You aren't putting them away so soon, are you?" He, too, usually loves everything removed right after Christmas.

Even so, I won't have Christmas up after New Year's. I go back to work next week and I'd rather slowly take it down before then.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 1:25PM
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We'll leave ours up at least until the weekend, since we decorated late (and only the living room plus lights and wreaths outside) and I haven't had a chance to fully enjoy them. This will give me time to focus on other parts of the house so when I un-do Christmas I will have already impacted other parts of the house, too.

The only thing I regret is leaving the tree boxes and bins of decorations out in the basement, rather than putting them back where they came from. This definitely adds a cluttered look to the basement, but I'm not going to put them away now, when it's only a few more days. Next year I'll know better!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 4:44PM
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And I'm procrastinating tackling the tree RIGHT NOW :).

I started earlier today. Got most of the house decorations down and boxed. When I start to dismantle the tree, I refuse to stop till the lights are off and put away, ornaments are wrapped in tissue and boxed, the tree has been hauled out and the floors are swept clean of needles! Whew.

Okay better get off the forum and onto the step ladder. Wish me luck.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 4:46PM
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Good luck, Ann!! Out with the old!! :-)

My mother-in-law was *horrified* that I had already put away christmas...her tree sometimes stays up until February. But when we got home for lunch today (we're both working the rest of this week), we both smiled at each other and commented on how nice the house looks today. I'm glad it's all done...very peaceful for me knowing it's out of the way. :-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 6:36PM
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I'll take down our tree this weekend ... or maybe next. Our trash service starts picking up trees Jan. 9th, so that's my absolute outside deadline. This year the tree is much smaller than usual and is in a good spot so I don't feel like it's in the way at all. Last year's tree was wonderfully enormous, but it looked like it was taking over the living room and I was getting claustrophobic. This year I still want a little more time to enjoy the tree lights and the scent of pine needles.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 6:47PM
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I'm with Julie; ours will stay up until at least next weekend. We decorated pretty late too - our stuff has only been up for a couple of weeks. I didn't go all-out on the decorating this year, just the tree & wreaths on the doors.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:15PM
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Okay . . . I'm trying not to be envious of all of you organized, "ahead of the game" girls! We CAN'T "de-decorate" as we still have out of town guests (my inlaws . . . look for future rant to come! LOL!) and are still having two more Christmas related get-to-gethers at our house for more relatives coming later this week. As our house guests aren't leaving until sometime after the New Year (the date keeps extending itself . . . yes, this will be included in my future rant!) so when I actually get to put things away and start fresh is still a mystery. Perhaps I should just add some valentine decorations to the mix!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Maybe if you de-decorated after (or maybe before!) get together, everyone would get the idea that Christmas is over and go home? LOL

I'm looking forward to the rant!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 8:11AM
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But that's perfect, Brenda - they can all *help* you un-decorate!! I bet once you start making noises and getting boxes out, everyone will get the idea and either help you, or head for the hills...either way, you win! LOL

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 12:14PM
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Brenda, I had to laugh at the mental picture of you hauling out all the boxes and bins with a bright smile and 'hey, here's a fun project!'. Maybe that would send everyone scurrying. If not, you could always put everything away, then sit down and just give them a blank stare as in, hmmm there is something else in the house that needs to go now...:).

I didn't end up finishing the tree de-decorating last night after all. Got all the ornaments down but as my husband had been through a bit of medical testing that left him woozy (he's fine) I couldn't really press him to get the tree out right away. But I did make him do it this morning; it was such a sad sight to see that poor browning tree, denuded of all the sparkling ornaments, just sitting there.

So I've got the house back in order, though not sparkling clean like Jamie. More semi-clean, but at least not decorated anymore. I have all my bins relabeled, and stacked in the back hallway to be put back in the loft. Do need to put away all the wrap, bags and ribbon I got the 26th.

While I"m here, anyone have suggestions for storing ribbon? At Linens n Things I came across a rather neat ribbon storage box with a dowel inside and a small separate attached box for tape and scissors. But, not only was it rather small it wasn't on sale! That really surprised me but on principle I was not going to pay a whopping $7.99 when I always buy at 50% off the day after Xmas. Well, not unless Talley Sue tells me I should...should I go back and just pay that? Any online sources? Container store? I love them but the prices there are often so high. But now I keep thinking of that neat ribbon storage box and I want one!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 4:54PM
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