My least favorite part of the whole Christmas season is the end of it, or De-Decorating.
Our kids usually begin telling us we just have to decorate the house for Christmas right after Thanksgiving. We remind them we never decorate until after the December 9 birthday of one of the daughters.
In the good old days when we had eight children living here 24/7, it was a matter of self-preservation to delay the decorating as long as possible. Now it’s just pure bull-headedness.
This year our youngest daughter and her daughter came in the weekend after the birthday and began to decorate the tree. They did a good job, and as always, we thoroughly enjoyed the results. You see, it’s not we don’t like decorations, it’s just we don’t like doing the decorating.
The oldest daughter and her son came in next and unloaded the house decorations from the basement storage room.
It really didn’t take very long to decorate the rest of the inside of the house. And again, we enjoyed the results. In fact, we enjoyed them until last weekend.
Bill had a touch of the flu, so he went to bed. I looked at the decorations which had been so beautiful and decided it was time for them to go. One little glitch. I had promised myself while some of the decorations were on display this year, I would clean out the storage room.
I went into the basement and began the dreaded job of disposing of Christmas past. I hadn’t been there after dark for quite a while. Thus, I was no longer familiar with all the creaks and moans which are part of daily living down there. As I cleaned I tried to convince myself the various noises were not speaking of my imminent death. One moan in particular was difficult to reason away. Several days later when Bill heard it he called the furnace repair man. Wish I’d thought of that.
By the time the storage room was ready, I was in my night-owl element. It was after midnight when I tackled the six-foot tree on the two-foot-high table. No problem removing the tinsel and decorations except the decorations didn’t all fit back into the box they came out of. I just packed them double.
Next I removed two strings of lights on the bottom, the last ones put on the tree. I may have muttered a few words about people who are johnny-on-the-spot when it’s time to decorate, but nowhere in sight when it’s time to de-decorate.
Suddenly it occurred to me it would be easier if the tree were on the floor instead of the table. I grabbed the center post with both hands and lifted. Then I staggered as I tried to replace the tree into the base so I could let go of it. Nothing like dancing around a table with a Christmas tree at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Finally I got it back in the base, and with one hand around the center post and the other grasping the base I managed to crash the tree to the floor. The whole time I was muttering about a contract to force decorators to de-decorate.
Next question, why do people string lights around the tree? Up and down would be easier to remove. Solution. If I unplugged the top strings and removed the tree top I could grab the lights off and untangle them later. It worked. Instead of running around the tree I just leaned over it and tugged. Whoever wants to decorate next year can untangle them.
By the time I went to bed about 4 A.M, the storage room was in order, the tree was down, the plans for removing the rest of the decorations were made, and I had a rough draft of a contract for decorators to sign next year guaranteeing they would be involved in the de-decoration after Christmas.
We wish you happiness and health in the New Year of 1918.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on January 16, 2002.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.