It’s that time… You got out all the decorations. You put up the tree (and mistletoe?). You had the parents and the parties. You sang the carols and lit the candles. You toasted the old year and rang in the new.
So now, it’s time to un-Christmas.
As usual, my decorations weren’t finished until Christmas Eve. And if it’s not up by then? Well it will be there next year, right?
This year was not so easy in my house. Between my chronic sciatica and my husband’s lung disease, we don’t do stairs well. Most of the decorations are stored in the attic. The party dishes in the basement. I’m not sure I want to know the number of trips!
I was smart enough to leave the totes on the side porch until they are filled again and hope to talk my “kids” into helping me lug things up when they’re here next time. Towards that end, the tree has been taken down and the lights and greenery gathered neatly into totes to organize and encourage efficiency in replacing in the attic.
Usually the Un-Christmasing day has always been Epiphany (January 6th). But I had to spread it out a bit so I started early with the tree.
After all, that’s not so hard – taking the ornaments off one by one, deciding how to group them (or ungroup?). For instance the four small blown glass ornaments in their colorful splendor in the shapes of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe along with a green angel and RWB stocking. I probably got them when I was in Paris, but don’t remember when. Also the sock monkey in a pretty red dress, and the quilted tan and white star folded block (they are in the fabric section). Sometimes these precious possessions lose their meaning when they lose their stories. Did I get that one the year that I did “A Wonderful Life” at QCT? Was that one from a volunteer at the hospital? One of the actors at QCT? It’s fun to look back and remember (or try) the day you got it, or maybe the day your child made it in an art class and couldn’t wait to show it off when they got home!
Un-Christmas-ing the house can be a chore! And it can become an emotional journey. Of course, the question of when? always comes up!
Whether to observe the “twelfth night” tradition depends on whether you used a real tree or an artificial one. According to the Pioneer Woman, a real tree can last for a month if properly selected and tended. https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/holidays-celebrations/a37973447/when-to-take-christmas-tree-down/
In some areas you can purchase a live tree and have it planted after Christmas. Maybe start a new family tradition of planting instead of chopping down?
As for the rest? The process of Un-Christmasing is also a great time to decide what you don’t want to put out next year… or ever again. Put those items in a separate tote and mark them for resale or donation next December! And, as always, share the stories of the special ornaments, cross-stitch pillow cover or Nativity set with your family so they will have a reason to want to take them when you can no longer put them on display.
As always, Golden Bridges is here to help!