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Sunday, December 5, 2010

And It All Comes Down in a Month...

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.

Some of them are encased in snowglobes, some are clutching candles, one of them in particular actually looks a bit as if he is panhandling.

Hey. It's been a tough year.

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 newspaper-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? We're less than half way through December. 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, laughing month of December ahead of us.

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


Kevin Musgrove said...

I'm with Willie on this one. Except I take the decorations down before I put them up.

powdergirl said...

I love Willie! Not in a biblical sense, y' unnerstan, just because I ALWAYS 'forget' to put my lawn mowers away till the first snow fall.
I don;t collect anything(though I do have a small archive of retired jeans) because I hate clutter ALOT, and even me own Mother knows I have a deep and abiding aversion to knick-knacks, so my Christmas decorating is pretty minimal. Mostly I just go get holly and spruce boughs from the forest across the road and string them with lights and ribbons, which ensures that I take it down pretty early cause that stuff makes a very pokey mess when it goes past its best-before date.
I'll be late with even that this year as I don't get back from vacation till the 16th.
Still, I like Christmas, it feeds my chronic present opening disorder quite nicely : )

Behave while I'm away, Pearly Whirly, and enjoy all the preliminary back-slapping and hugging and kissing that you've decorated so hard for : )

Kal said...

I was lucky. I got action figures for my first Christmas and fourty years later I still get them and I like them. My sister, however was given elephants early and those have dogged her every birthday and Christmas - don't know what to get Kim? Go with something elephant. She will love it. But she never loves it and has never loved it. But she has over 100 elephants in her collection which she conveniently left in our house when she moved to Australia. I think a nice Christmas parcel is due her.

Kittie Howard said...

For some reason, people give me ornaments, the ornaments I'd never buy...why? Haven't figured that out, except that, maybe, they don't like my ornaments, *snifs*...in which case, where are these people when I lug stuff out, lug it back?

As always, loved your post. I love the Christmas season and all that goes with it!

bruce said...

i love christmas music, but i can do without all the decor...if it were just me and the TuckMonster the christmas tree would be a fake plant with the bulbs just tossed, in the big snarly mess they came out of the box in, on or even near the tree.


bruce johnson jadip
stupid stuff i see and hear

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Not in the mood. I'll just skip it. Sounds as though you've got it covered for me. Have fun.

savannah said...

what are snow babies? i'd google it, but i'm sure i'd still not know, sugar! xoxoxo

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Pearl,
Today I've decorated the house with one sprig of holly on the mantelpiece.
In days of yore we had the works,tree,lights,baubles,singing santas,Christmas Pyramid, Advent Calendar,stockings at the ready etc.. Although I must confess I never did get round to parading in on Christmas Eve bearing a Boar's head on a platter
I must be getting a touch of the "Bah,humbugs " so perhaps i had better add a second sprig of holly to the mantelpiece tomorrow.

Oilfield Trash said...

If I didn't have kids, I would never decorate for Christmas.

Karen said...

I put up a tree this year and even decorated it. Okay, I put up a tree every year. Pretty much, that's it.

It's nice to know that there are people out there who have it covered for those of us who, um, really don't want to participate.

My daughters have snow babies. I stopped at two each.

Putz said...

pearl , pearl, pearl< i am a certified story teller also><<><>i go back, way back and have produced 500 stories only an ignoble enigma could have had<><<>lately though i find it hard, but when i started 5 years ago i could tell my stories at the drop of a hat

Supergreensunbear said...

Sounds like the festive spirit is oozing from the walls :) We just decorated our house today and it certainly adds a little something, in a rented house though its nicer to have something other than just beige walls.

Gigi said...

Snow Babies, huh? Somehow you don't strike me as a Snow Baby kind of gal. Your mother must know something we don't.

Madame DeFarge said...

We don't put up decorations any more. Mostly because we're away for most of the Christmas and New year holidays and it's hardly worth the effort. Maybe if I had some Snowbabies, I'd feel like it.

ajm said...

Ack, my mom bought me snow babies for a couple of years too! I've passed them down to my 5-year-old daughter. Whoopsie, she just broke another one.

Pat Tillett said...

Okay, what the hell is a "snow baby?"
December is just too darn busy! It makes me nervous...
Once when I was young and single I left my christmas tree up until July 14th. By then, there wan't a single needle left on it...
I have a photo of it somewhere (I hope). I think I'm gonna have to make a blog post about it!
You do realize that there are "ECDS" support groups out there, don't you? ECDS = Excessive Christmas Decoration Syndrome

Eva Gallant said...

I think the Grinch got my Christmas spirit this year. I haven't put up anything that says Christmas yet, except my best friend came by yesterday and hung a wreath on my front door. I keep trying to get in the mood to decorate, but it just seems like so much work.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks for visiting me and my Mitz!

This is a hoot. I can picture the chaos and crowding!

becca said...

decorations till febuary for me they come done on December31 i like to start the yer off clean. so decoration come down and house is clean completely

Cloudia said...

will ya look at that! OOOOOOO


Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Jhon Baker said...

All our outside decorations went up today. Painful for me to be out there so long in the cold. The metal plate gets a chill and it's over for me, but I persisted and did our house and my MIL's next door. It all looks beautiful. Tomorrow starts the inside which I leave mainly up to the wife. I have to put together the train and help hang ornaments and drink Hot Chocolate - it's all fun now, thanks to my wife who has given me a love for Christmas I never had growing up.

HermanTurnip said...

It's funny, but every year the wife has the house fully decorated before I'm able to rouse myself from my turkey-infused slumber. The morning after the house is magically transformed into Santa's worst nightmare before I even have the chance to object.

Yes, Christmas is well and truly here when the animatronic "Santa pulls his pants down and blushes" doll is busy doing it's thing under the artificial Christmas tree...

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haphazardlife said...

I'm with Willie. If it was put up, it comes down in the first week of January.

- Jazz

Gaston Studio said...

I love decorating for Christmas and am lucky enough to have a walkup attic where my intact tree resides for most of the year, sans ornaments of course but it's still nice not having to put the damn thing together each year!