There is a naked tree in our family room. In short order it too will be carefully taken apart and unceremoniously shoved and squashed into a box that doesn't look near big enough to hold an entire Christmas Tree. Which says to me that Christmas is officially over.
It takes me nearly as long to undecorate as it does to decorate. I honestly do wrap everything in tissue paper and put it back into it's proper box or bag as I dismantle. The outside lights are taken down, unplugged from each other and then each strand is wrapped around panels of cardboard before being put into it's proper bin, labelled "outside lights". The hot pink reindeer and their sleigh are wrapped and placed in their boxes, my Father Christmas is bagged and has an entire bin of his own. The Christmas train and my pretty little glass tree have been returned to their originally boxes. The wreath has been bagged, and the stockings and tree skirt are gently wrapped and saved for use again next year.
The tree ornaments take the longest to repack. There are so very many of them! And it's such a mishmosh of colour and theme and tone. There is no room for linear thought on my Christmas trees, no sirree! The giant turquoise and hot pink balls bob next to delicate blown glass. The jolly Santas and woven straw candy canes hang next to carved wooden boats and funky Suessian undescribable trinkets. There are bone china cats and miniature violins. There are a number of birds with long feathered tails and a cross stitched kitten in a canning jar lid. Bags of tulle strips (which I use as garland). Boxes of old sparkly glass balls. The list goes on and on. All of it nestles together on my trees like a big wacky blended family, where nothing matches and everything somehow inexplicably goes together.
All of it, repackaged, sits and waits to be put into a bin where I struggle to make it fit an incredibly large 3-D jigsaw puzzle. There is one and only one way that it all fits together. It's just finding that one way. Takes a little time and patience. Eventually, I always get figured out.
Once all of it is back in the utility room ready for it's 11 month nap I am nearly done. It's all over except for the glitter. The glitter is eternal. I will vacuum and re-vacuum. I will sweep and wash floors. And the glitter will still be there. Even now, I see it sparkling on the floor, the rug and the furniture. But it's worse than that because it's also on my clothes, on my skin, in my hair and for all I know I've inhaled it and even now it's sparkly on my liver. I will continue to find glitter tomorrow, next week, next month and probably in July it will still be turning up.
It's my fault entirely. There was a new addition to the ornaments this year.
Yes I blame the snowflakes. As far as I can tell they are composed of 95% glitter and 5% glue. I have never in my life seen so much leftover glitter after undecorating a tree. The snowflakes should be half the size that they started out judging by the piles of glitter everywhere. But no. They are at least as large as they started out. Maybe bigger. I can only assume that they must be reproducing. Or perhaps even manufacturing additional glitter as they hung on the tree!
And they looked so pretty too. With the crazy mixed up ornaments that we have, this stack of snowflakes was the one constant, the thing that brought it all together and made it look like an intentional bit of Christmas Chaos instead of a randomly insane tree. To say nothing of the fact that all those pickery pointy bits on the snowflakes caught on everything. The tree, the garland, other ornaments, each other and if you passed by a little too closely, onto you too.
But it sure was a pretty tree. Every year I say that it's the prettiest tree we've ever had. And every year I mean it too. It's all saved now, safely packed away and patiently waiting for next year when it will once again be the prettiest tree we've ever had. I even saved every single one of those damned snowflakes. And I have no doubt that by next year I will have forgotten what a pain in the butt those snowflakes were and I will use them again.
Good Night Christmas Tree. Have a nice nap. See you next December!
The glitter however, will still be around. Glitter is forever.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.