I’ve always loved Christmas, especially decorating. I moved into my first apartment in early December, with only a bed for the first few weeks, so I didn’t do any decorating that year. Money was tight during my second Christmas on my own, so I contented myself by throwing some lights on a $15 fake ficus. But within the next few years I built up a small collection of ornaments and decorations. My things filled two large Rubbermaid totes, which my parents stored in their garage during the rest of the year.
In the ten years since I’ve been in my house, my stash has grown significantly. Bob and I now have ornaments our moms have handed down to us, keepsake ornaments for Emma, and a few she’s chosen herself. We’ve also accumulated a lot of decorations. I’m not a collector in my everyday life, but for some reason I have little collections of Christmas items, namely nutcrackers, snowmen and snow globes.
For someone who’s essentially unorganized, most years I’ve been surprisingly diligent about putting everything back neatly. Last year was not one of those years, and neither was the year before, which was the first Christmas after my father passed away. The little bit of enthusiasm I’ve had for the holiday these last two years is only for Emma, hence the lack of interest in organizing decorations. It’s been a relief for the season to be over so I can get everything out of the house.
My lack of interest in organizing the holiday stuff and the general chaos of the garage created a perfect storm of crap. Yesterday I felt that working on Christmas would go a long way toward making the garage neater. I started with five totes of Christmas things, as well as several odd boxes and bags of more holiday stuff and three more totes of other seasonal items. I’d hoped to donate a lot, because I have so much. When I was done, I hadn’t gotten rid of as much as I’d wanted, but I got everything into totes so there are no more loose boxes and bags. Those plastic bags that sheets and curtains come in are another annoying thing I can never bring myself to get rid of, but I came across a bag full of them in the garage and they ended up working well for ornaments, which freed up a few boxes I can use for other things.
I had a lot of seasonal things and other holiday things but realized that fake leaves and flowers aren’t my speed anymore, so I got rid of them. I’m also not really into decorating for Easter, because I don’t like pastels, so I got rid of all but a few nicer things. When I was done, all the Christmas things were in four totes and all the fall/Halloween/Easter/Valentine’s Day things were in one tote. There are two empty totes in the garage, which is a definitely victory. Even better, Bob was able to get all the totes up into the loft part of the garage, so they aren’t taking up space in the main area.
And with that I’d like to express my gratitude to our men and women in uniform, past and present, who have sacrificed so much so we can live in this beautiful country. Our town, small as it is, does a great job honoring those we lost, and I’m glad my family was able to be there.