It's time to say goodbye til next year!
Hands up anyone who LOVES their Christmas tree? Meee!! It's so pretty - especially with the sparkly lights at night. But this week - the week before I go back to work - is my frenzied decluttering week. And, packing away the festive decorations is like my official way of kicking off the decluttering season.
Firstly, I pack away the tinsel and decorations, throwing out anything that is broken or worn out (some of these - including the tree - are over 20 years old!). Then the lights are carefully removed, wound up and packed away and then my tree - which feels like an old friend - is packed away.
I'm quite sentimental about the tree and Christmas in general. I had an idyllic childhood and my mum - who has since passed away - loved Christmas too, so perhaps it's a genetic thing (that's a convenient excuse which I'm sticking to!). In fact she still put out Santa presents well into our adulthood. Christmas is a time that I feel her presence quite strongly. It's also a time that I feel her loss more deeply, but by sharing our love for Christmas with my own children feels like a lovely way to honour her memory and to incorporate stories about her into their lives.
An aside: here's a funny story about getting Santa gifts as an adult (which may or may not have been embellished slightly?!?!) that has become part of our family folklore. I intercepted my younger brother coming home crying from school one day. He said someone had told him that Santa wasn't real and asked if it was true. I paused, carefully weighing up what to say. I figured he was pretty much old enough to be told and most of his peers had found out the truth, so I said to him: yes, it's true....Santa isn't real. But don't let mum know that you know, or we'll only get one lot of presents each year instead of two.
A few years later, my dad pulled me aside as said, "surely your brother doesn't still believe in Santa?". I paused, carefully weighing up what to say. Eventually, I said: yes it's true. He doesn't believe in Santa and hasn't for a while. But don't let mum know that he knows or we'll only get one lot of gifts instead of two!
Mum continued giving us Santa gifts a long time after that, so it made no difference whether we all knew or not!
Anyhoo - back to decluttering....
After the tree is packed away, I collect any other decorations and put them away too. I don't go overboard with decorations throughout the house. I just think that they're A) a bit of a waste of money and B) I just couldn't be bothered finding places to store them all and C) it's just more plastic and stuff that the world just doesn't need!