Oh, to be a Christmas decoration!
You come out of your 11-month hibernation after Thanksgiving and are proudly displayed in a special location in a home, only to return to the dark cavern of a garage or attic within 5 weeks, anxiously awaiting the turning of the months, then to come alive again!
It is always sad putting away Christmas decorations. It seems that as soon as you take all the boxes down, remove the ornamental baubles and place them strategically around the house, then—blink—it is now time for all of them to be put back inside the boxes, never to come back down for another 11 months.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and, therefore, December my favorite month. It is not fair that December feels like one week long whereas hot August feels like three months.
Traditions permeate the holiday season and so it goes with decorations. I have old family decorations dating back before I was born. I even have a cardboard snowman that I made in the second grade that has curvature of the spine yet must be hung on the tree.
When it comes to storing the decorations, I am meticulous to a fault.
Each tree ornament, each tchotchke needs to be put into its own container. Sometime I have the original box with the price tag still on it; for others, I have repurposed a candy box or a tin can for that one delicate Santa figurine.
Then I label each box so that I’m not frantically opening all the boxes to locate that Frosty bubble light.
I organize items in a large storage bin labeled for a particular room such as den or living room.
I even have photos of where certain items go on certain shelves in a cabinet so that I’m not starting from scratch next year in figuring out which item goes where.
Yet no matter how hard I try to put everything back in its proper box, in its proper bin, there are always a few items that, for some reason, don’t fit back into the bins and must remain in a place inside the house, a place which I need to recall in late November.
The taking down and the putting away processes are exhausting, taking days to complete. No doubt, it is more fun decorating the house than it is to undecorate it.
I know people who keep up Christmas decorations all year long. If I did that, December would no longer be special. Being displayed for a short part of the year makes the holiday magic magical—and worth waiting for.