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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It’s Almost Time To Take Down the Holiday Decorations

A number of years ago, my mother decided – in that whimsical, haphazard way that mothers have – that I not only collected Snow Babies but that I also collected Santas of assorted styles and demeanors.

And you know, once you’re guaranteed a Snow Baby every year, your future – and your reputation! – is pretty much determined.

I am now a Decorator for the Holiday.

Such a process! Starting the day after Thanksgiving, the everyday stuff comes off the walls, the breakables come out of the vitrine, everything that has a seasonal replacement makes its bubble-wrapped way down to the basement.

I’d like to say that I then clean thoroughly. But I don’t.

And then the holiday frippery goes up – fake boughs upon fake boughs of greenery, glass ornaments on hooks, velvet ribbons, pretty holiday cards I’ve framed for the walls, boxes of Snow Babies and ceramic, glass, metal, wood, and rubber Santas.

Well, no; I don’t really have any rubber Santas.

But wouldn’t that be kind of cool?

Or maybe one made out of gold-spray-painted elbow macaroni? That would be cool, too.

Ha! Maybe Mom will read this and I’ll get one this year.

Anyway, after a full day of decorating in November, it all comes down again the first week of February.

In my earlier years, of course, it was possible for me to leave my Christmas tree up until April.

Thank heavens I entered a rehabilitation program for the seasonally challenged.

I remember the first meeting:

Hi, my name is Pearl; and my Christmas tree has been in the corner of my living room for almost five months.

Hi, Pearl!

Luckily, my husband acts as my sponsor. Willie, my task-driven overlord, starts itching to take it all down within minutes of unwrapping the gifts. Both a curse and a boon, Willie’s drive to take care of things ensures that the snowblower is ready for the first snow, the lawnmower gets put away before it snows, and the Snow Babies come down before Easter.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? December has just started. We still have the shortest day of the year ahead of us, still have the cookie-baking, ham-slicing, gift-wrapping garbage-making back-slapping, hugging, kissing, month of December ahead of us.

And honestly, I really don’t mind decorating for that.


Comedy Goddess said...

I like to whip up a batch of boozy egg nog and whirl through the decorating ordeal.

Or else hire someone.

Pearl said...

Hi, Comedy Goddess.
Both options would be acceptable to me!

La Belette Rouge said...

My mother decided I collect Arthur Court. I decided to sell my collection on ebay. But, snow babies. Hmm, I would have never guessed you for the Snow baby type. I do love bubble wrap. And, my mother does have an angel made out of gold sprayed noodle macaroni.

Barbara Blundell said...

What is a snow baby ?I have heard and seen snowmen but didn't know they had offspring .They must keep them hidden away here.

KMcJoseph said...

I have to wait until my wife's parents are guaranteed not to be coming to visit anymore (while they are in Florida) in order to put up the decorations. Guess why.

SassyTwoSocks said...

'Sup, P!! Just like Comedy Goddess, I like a nice saturated-fat-filled goblet of egg nog, with lots of rum. Yum! At one point in my life, my family decided I collected sunflowers, until I finally flipped out and told them to quit the sappy sunny flower theme. Now, just because I mentioned that I like elephants (not the republican kind), they think I collect them. Boy oh boy.

derfina said...

Heh. My mom decided I collect Mikasa crystal in the "Upton" pattern. I drink out of farking Big Gulp cups, for crying out loud. Well, at least I can sell it on ebay if things get bad!

Pearl said...

La Belette, The fact that I have a collection of Snow Babies is a constant source of amusement and/or potential for abuse from my friends. It's kinda -- but not quite, dammit! -- the equivalent of a lot of stuffed animals or something...

Hi, Barbara!
Snow Babies are chubby-cheeked ceramic (I think) children dressed in snow suits romping about in the snow, talking to penguins (really) or a number of other winter-related themes. I'm sure you can send away for them!

Hi, KMcJ,
Ummm, because you don't put up the lovely decorations they've bought you? :-)

'sup Sassy! :-)
Sounds similar to the "cow" theme a friend's parents thought he was into. Yes, "he". He gets cow-related items for every gift-giving event. He's in his 40s now and doesn't have the heart to tell his parents that he doesn't want any more cow-shaped potholders or cow-colored coffee mugs...

Hi, Derfina!
Nice! And yes, I suspect when things get bad there will a lot of fairly classy collectible stuff for sale!


Ann's Rants said...

I think its so beautiful...in other people's homes. So glad I'm a Jew, cuz the whole Christmas thing exhausts me. My MIL started me on a fancy-dreidel collection the first time I celebrated Christmas with them, so now I have a dozen or so. I should really go de-bubble wrap myself. Cheers!

Pearl said...

Hi, Ann.
I don't think it used to be so exhausting... Has it always been so ridiculously hyped? I don't think so. Ack. It's enough to make me check into the pagan holidays...

KMcJoseph said...

Jewish in-laws.

Tami said...

Will you please come decorate at my house? Please??? PRetty please???

Because I suck at it.

You live close. I promise..I'll whip up some boozy egg nog and everything.

The Grandpa said...

You and my better half must have been separated at birth. And believe me, if there's a rubber Santa, she has it. :0)

Lilly's Life said...

The first thing I do is play the Bing Crosby Christmas CD to put me in the decorating mood. That CD has been the subject of many jokes at my expense over the years. I only like white, silver and gold decorations though. Not sure why but its the way it is. Green Christmas tree always though. It used to be a real pine tree but now I only do fake trees as long as its a good fake copy I am happy. I love putting the decorations up but hate the job of taking them down. So I have been guilty of leaving them up longer than I should.

Pearl said...

Hi, KMcJ,
I know, right?! :-)

Hi, Tami.
As tempting as that is, I'll pass. :-) But maybe we'll get together this summer and buy up all the decorations people tire of over the winter!

Hi, Grandpa.
Show her my picture. Maybe we have people in common!

Hi, Lilly!
Back from vacation! I hope you had a good time. Seems you were gone forever!
My tree is green (a nice fake) with white, gold, silver, and little clumps of fake red berries here and there. :-)


Brother Tobias said...

Christmas season chez Pearl must be a feast for the eyes! Governed by a dour protestant ethic here, which means the halls don't get decked until a week before - and leaving anything up beyond twelfth night is supposed to bring bad luck (just as we are supposed to eat 12 mince pies in that time, to bring luck to each month).

Blue Blaze Irregular #1 said...

You're lucky to have the Significant Other to carry some of the Decorations and Ensuing Work burden. I had the opposite problem for years...my ex-girlfriend's daughter who basically wanted to keep decorations up year round (and watch High School Musical in the meantime). It was lovely excuse to not take down lights and trees and whatnot, but I got my share of dirty looks from her Mom, who felt I was an enabler.

Pearl said...

Hi, Brother T.
Sorry to hear about the Protestant thing! Do we have those here? :-) Kinda goes against the whole conspicuous consumption thing we got goin'... It IS awful pretty, though, the decorations.

Hi, Blue Blazer.
Oh, you're right there. We live on the second floor, with storage in the basement. That's a lot of up and down, particularly if it's a set of steps built circa 1904 (pretty steep).
"High School Musical"? I can't tell you how happy I am that I've missed that. :-)