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'Tis my season

'Tis my season

A proclamation:  I am going to try to downsize my Christmas this year to the "only slightly mad" level.

The reason(s): 1.  My father-in-law Roger Dahl will be spending the holiday season with us, and I do not want to scar him with my madness.

2.  The Patrick Dahl family will be moving here after the New Year to await the completion of their new suburban home.  YAY!  Migration of Dahl offspring ⅔ complete. Bribes included babysitting and cohabitation during construction. 

3.  My replaced knee has shaken completely loose.  I will need a new one.  The repeated attic trips and the climbing up and down the step ladder to decorate will be scary. So far I have chipped my elbow and broken my tailbone.  The ruins cannot take more battering. I cannot abide a fall. I have Grandchildren to keep up with.

Besides, the arrival of Pat, Rachel and Henry will blend with the departure of Steve to Florida; I need to have a civilized transition.  The kids are living with Rachel's folks now, but will keep me company during my Winter Break. They need to have the closet space currently inhabited by my museum of outdated but sentimentally essential clothing. And all the boys' high school crap. It's time to purge. Well, maybe we can start by hiding stuff.

I must shift from being curator of their memories to an innkeeper.

So my plan is to take stuff up to the attic, where bins and racks will hold all surplus and unseasonal clothing. I bought those bags to suck air out of,  so there is lots of potential for relocation. I know Patrick will schlep his 1000 books upstairs to clear closet space. (Are you reading this, Pat?  Shall we set a date?)

I will make the flip trip with bins of Christmas decorations. When I run out of stuff to stow for the Bed and Breakfast experiment, I will stop bringing holiday stuff down. Sounds like a plan, right? Kind of a Scroogey plan, but it is appropriate. If you are new to these parts, feast upon the paradise that is my attic: my amazing pull down ladder, and my ridiculous excess of decor. I apologize for the portrait orientation.  My kids had not schooled me, and this was my first I Phone movie. I honestly install almost every bit of stuff I have stored there. Every corner of my house has tiers of garland, lights, decorations.  The top of every piece of furniture holds carolers, or angels, or Santas, or Village houses, or apothecary jars full of ornaments and lights.  I love it. But I need to scale it this year. Dear God, let me follow through.

The edited holiday will thrill me in January. It will thrill Steve in November and December. Ho Ho Ho.

In the meantime, I DO want to share a Christmas project with you. I have done it for myself for years, but last year I started my kids on it.  Traditions are the backbone that immortalize family; this is one that can be sustained whether you are in the same geography for the holiday or not.

I'll post it tomorrow. (I'm watching Henry tomorrow, so that might have been a lie…but very soon, promise)   It won't cost a lot, but it will take some time and thought. And a jot of creativity.  Trust me, I have no skills, just determination. A tip: start cutting out the 50% off one item coupons in the Sunday papers from Michael's, Joann's and Hobby Lobby.

COME BACK.  I promise you will love doing this, and giving it.

And remember: if you are starting to decorate, I have tips to help you from last year. Get your supplies localized.  You will be efficient and less stressed.

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