I have toiled to un-Christmas the house, and I am sad to say, I now dwell in darker quarters. Cleaner, too.
I cleared room by room, packed my treasures in bins, tagged every one and enlisted my able bodied assistant, Steve, to help me get them into the attic. I have shelves for each room, and in theory, this will facilitate systematic decorating next year.
I get sentimental about the Christmas season- looking back, celebrating the present, decorating everything. I love it irrationally. My expectations are met if I get even one moment that I can carry forward. With babies in the mix, this is a lock. Henry (who calls himself and answers to Happy) learned the word Santa and joyously greeted every manifestation of the Jolly Old Guy. That’ll hold me till next year.
An admission: I become pretty morose as I strip the house. I suppose it is the scintilla of Irish melancholy that I channel via the O’Donnell genes. I travel the same rough road that takes me from summer to autumn, and I wrestle with my mortality. Am I alone here?
I imagine a next year that does not include me.
SO I over-label everything, just in case Steve is on his own for Christmas 2013. And no- I am not sick. I just respect the transitory and random nature of the universe. Next year is not a promise; it is a possibility.
All my tagging and organized stacking is absurd, I must admit. If I was not around, Steve would reduce my ubiquitous displays to a table top tree. Or a picture of a tree. He would be completely content with a minimalistic approach.
Let this serve as a warning to the kids: Dad is Swedish. He can relate to the streamlined Ikea sensibility. There will be no Santas to toddle up to and kiss.
Please, family, if I am not around- indulge me and adopt my Christmas stuff.
My overflow is in the garage attic. It is extensive. The ABC tree? I still have it. My gingerbread ornaments made with grocery bags, stuffed with quilt batting and sewn with green twine- waiting for a loving tree. The Victorian pink and blue ornaments I made with styrofoam balls and lace- perfect for a Downton Abbey style Christmas tree. The 101 Dalmatians are all boxed together, waiting for their return to my rotation. Feel free.
Matt: there is a Simpsons Village. Seriously.
All three boys: a Chicago Bears train, some track and a few Bears village houses ( a tavern and a fieldhouse) await each of you. Dad ordered them from Franklin Mint, but they eventually started sending Packers stuff, and of course, he cancelled. But if you buy some more track, you could enjoy a Bears/Dad /Mom mash-up of Christmas spirit.
There is a lifetime of Christmas Past to take into the future.
Our stuff will glow beautifully in your homes. Honest. I would be so honored to touch your future celebrations. Of course, feel free to ditch it, too.
The notion (perhaps mistaken) that my kids share my love of Christmas pleased me this week.
The notion that my home is clean and uncluttered did NOT please me. Not one bit.
Is this a typical response? Am I the only person who closes the season with rumination on immortality?
OK- I am over my post-Christmas despair. You have been my sounding board. Thank you.
Come back for Happy Janet. I’ll be in cheery form any moment now.