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Taking down decorations isn’t that bad

Taking down decorations isn’t that bad Taking down decorations isn’t that bad


You can call me a plastic lumberjack.

This past Saturday, I helped take down three artificial Christmas trees with my bare hands. No axes or saws were needed, but there was a bit of heavy lifting and some branch disposal required.

Yes, it’s that annual post-holiday chore of taking down Christmas decorations. Needless to say, removing the vestiges of the much-anticipated holiday is never as much fun as putting them up.

When you first haul out the trees and decorations in late November or early December, the Christmas season is just getting started. You have something to look forward to, even with the temperatures getting colder and snow and ice piling up outside. In fact, that winter weather is a classic harbinger of Christmas for us Midwesterners.

Fast forward to early January, and for many of us, those fields of white stuff seem a little less charming and a lot more dreary, especially when you realize they may be around for another three or four months. That snow globe world we cherished in December now feels a little more like the far side of Siberia.

Personally, I don’t mind the snow and cold from November to February, but after that, I want spring to come roaring back without all those annoying starts and stops we usually experience.

But, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself by even mentioning spring. This past Saturday’s holiday takedown was actually a nice coda to the advent season. My sister- and brother-in-law came to Medford to help de-Christmas my mother-in-law’s house, and even though holiday tunes were no longer playing, we still had some quality time getting the work done.

My niece and nephew even showed up, and my nephew, Alex, had quite the digital slideshow to present. He recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land in Israel with a group of Christian college students. Talk about celebrating the birth of Christ in the most legit way possible. His pictures from inside the Church of the Nativity put our little store-bought ornaments to shame.

By the end of the weekend, all of the decorations were safely packed away for next year, and both my mother-in-law’s house and my and Linda’s apartment seemed a little emptier (though also less cluttered). We had “survived” another Christmas, as some people say, and now we just have a handful of heart-shaped baubles set out for Valentine’s Day.

This time of year always feels like the quiet after the storm to me. After a flurry of activity that blows by in the blink of an eye, things go back to a steady routine. Post-Christmas winter can seem to drag a little, but it’s part of the whole 12-month cycle. The trick is to enjoy your blessings year-round, even without decorations.