Yesterday I spent several hours sorting and organizing Christmas decorations. I
have hundreds, probably enough to decorate 10 trees. I even have a few
of the old Santa decorations from the tree we had when I was young. And
every year I buy more.
me on the left (many years ago!) in front of a little tree. See the red
Santas with the twisted legs? They were one of my favourites when I was
a kid. Those long legs that could be twisted around in every direction
really tickled me. Santa was tall and skinny instead of rotund, another
fact I loved as a kid. I managed to save a couple of those Santas and
they've gone with me through many years and many moves.
No More Christmas Decorating
So yesterday was bittersweet because I made the decision last month to not decorate trees anymore. Each year Christmas has become more difficult for me to manage. Usually I entertain 30 or more family - and I do all the cooking. I loved it, but my physical issues are making it too challenging to continue. As well my family is dwindling, either from death or geographic distance. So it just seemed like this year would be a sad Christmas, and it's hard to get in the spirit with that mind-set. Hence the decision for this year at least. Maybe longer.
Some Memories are Painful
Each decoration I found, unwrapped and held, reminded me of something - an event from the past, a tree put up 10 years ago that looked like a Charlie Brown Christmas, a friend, a relative who gave me the ornament as a gift, or family Christmases of long ago.
Mind you, Christmas has never been my favourite holiday. My father died Christmas Day when I was 14. I miss him. So Christmas is sprinkled with sadness for me. That's me with my dad the Christmas I turned 10.
After a lot of thought and discussion with hubs I made my decision and set about packing items to be stored.
So Many Tubs of Ornaments!
I organized the ornaments by colour and by theme in case I break down and decorate a small tree next year.
I ended up with 3 huge tubs, one for purple, one for green, one for the neutrals (ivory, white, grey, silver and gold) and several smaller tubs - one for red decorations, one for decorations from my childhood or made by my children or gifts from friends and family, one for kids decorations for their little tree, one for miscellaneous sets in assorted colours, and one labelled "winged creatures" which are birds, dragonflies, butterflies - you get the idea - anything with wings.
Then I sorted all the garlands and ribbons and so on and put them all in a tub. Next came tags and wrapping paper and ribbons for presents - that took 2 more tubs. By the time I finished, I had a total of 9 large tubs representing Christmas memories.
It Will Be Okay
I feel a bit sad but I also feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Hubs and I discussing what we will do over the Christmas holidays. We have friends coming up from the city for Christmas Eve so I might cook a traditional Christmas dinner - although my friend wants me to just order Chinese Food! We are not sure what else we might do. Perhaps we'll just close the blinds, put the fireplace on, and watch our favourite movies while sipping tea.