Saturday, 4 January 2020

Dismantling Christmas

It seems to take ages, removing all the ornaments from the tree, then taking off the lights [and winding them up neatly] ad unhooking the branches, and packing the tree parts back into the box. Then there are the bits and pieces on the mantlepiece, and the lighted stars at the window, the door wreath...
And this year, due to illness and other things, we never put up most of the decorations.
Even my lovely Willow Tree Nativity stayed in its box.
But I have been quite ruthless about repacking everything.
I've actually reduced the amount of stuff by more than 40%!
That seems a huge amount, but I know it is the right thing to do. In our two previous houses, we had a conservatory - and I was able to hang a huge wreath festooned with baubles. But I have nowhere to do that here in Dorset. 
And although I have stairs here, Cornerstones is a bungalow - so soon there will be no need for the staircase garland. 
And as for all the decorations on the tree - there are so many. Can I justify keeping them all?

80% of then hold special memories, of people, or places visited, holidays, or family occasions. I laid them all out on the dining table, and weeded out the ones that don't have significance, or which have become worn or damaged. Broken ones were discarded, good but 'unwanted' ones put to one side. 
I sorted unwanted decorations, baubles, candleholders etc and arranged them in small attractive boxes.

I now have a large grocery box full - decorations which maybe have some use for others, but not for me. This box has been labelled and will go into the loft until November, when I shall deliver it to a Charity Shop. The CS won't want these things now - but come next winter they will, and furthermore, it is only fair to deliver them in a condition where they are sorted and saleable.
We are eating up the Christmas cake. Mary and Joseph have now left the top, and are lurking in the missing quarter. I suspect they are hiding baby Jesus from King Herod! 
Bob kindly declared this year's cake to be particularly fine, and thought the balance of icing:marzipan:cake was just right.
Dismantling Christmas, and reducing the decorations is OK, but I wouldn't be keen on skipping Christmas altogether. Have you read the little story of that title by John Grisham? [author of all those the legal thrillers] You may have seen the film "Christmas with the Kranks" which is based on the book [starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis] The book is infinitely better than the film! [and the film is pretty good] 
Rosie's Christmas holiday in Norfolk has come to an end too - with one final celebration meal of fish and chips in Hunstanton with her Mum and Dad. She certainly celebrates life, and finds great pleasure in even the smallest treats. Long may that continue.


  1. The thing about Christmas decorations is that in coming out once a year and being packed away again is that they are a repository of memories, particularly childhood memories for whom the season is normally a special delight. My youngest brother posted a photo of a crib he has inherited which our mother brought over from Switzerland aged 17, complete with a legless shepherd. (On the face of it a strange thing to pack when moving to another country on her own). We grew up with this crib so it was lovely to see appreciated by my brother’s children. (We keep our fecorations up until Epiphany).

  2. We have a tiny bell, brought back by my MIL from a holiday in Europe half a century ago. Her grandchildren loved ringing it, I hope the great grandchildren will too, even though they never knew this wonderful lady. As you say, a great Repository of Memories.

  3. I took the surplus to my local charity shop last Monday and they accepted the box gladly. One year, I advertised a Xmas Tree on Freecycle in January and someone came to collect it the next day!I still have a little cardboard snowman that my youngest made at primary school when he was about 7. I can't bear to part with that, alongwith a couple of other sentimental objects. I have just put away my Christmas Tree in its box, complete with ornaments still on. It's only 2ft high so quite easy to pack away.

  4. I love the decorating, not so much the undecorating! This year, I didn't decorate because I didn't feel well enough to do so. I guess I will cull through my collection of holiday decor, next year!

  5. I didn't put out as much this year but it still takes a while to get it all packed away again. When I lived in a larger flat I used to host a big Christmas party each year and had umpteen different sets of decorations - and trees! Each year my friends would come to see what the colour theme was for that year. But - it was exhausting and since moving to a smaller apt. there simply isn't the room. I have been downsizing the number of decorations bit by bit. This year I took in a pile to the church at the start of December so items could be used this year. I've also donated to other charities, sold some and just given others to friends - I figured that was better than having them sitting in a box in my storage unit.
    Next year I will get myself a nice wreath for the door and possibly a skinny pre-lit artificial tree that will better fit this apt.

    1. This sounds like wise decisions on your part. A smaller home inevitably means fewer space for decorations. It's good to pass things on to bless others too

  6. We almost had a non-Christmas as well. We have a Christmas village that we did put up because the children like it but I really have no place for a tree in our new house so it didn’t go up. Next year I will be getting a small table top tree — just big enough to put the special ornaments on — and I will put it in the middle of my dining room table which we never use. 2019 was so full of challenges that I just wanted it to go out on a quiet note. Now if we can just get the village put away I will be fine.

    1. "2019 was so full of challenges" seems to be a theme for many of us. Let us pray for an easier 2020

  7. How lovely to see and hear about Rosie celebrating and enjoying life so much.

  8. That's very considerate to wait till next year to take things to the charity shop- they are inundated at this time of the year with many, many donations! We don't have loads of decorations- our tree is quite sparse and we have a few other decorations. I did used to love the tree at my home- My mum used to have so many decorations. She doesn't have a tree now and I wonder where the decorations went when she moved out of our old house?


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