The Secret in Our Basement

I have a confession. Here we are, on the evening of January 23rd, and The Electrician and I have not yet taken down our Christmas tree. I’m sure we’re not the only folks who are festive long beyond the time it’s appropriate to be so, but it’s a little embarrassing nonetheless.

Normally, people take down their trees some time around the New Year. Since I puked my way to a six pound weight loss over the first three days of 2013, the tree was an insignificant detail. Launching more or less immediately into final exams at school has also interfered with my ability (and energy levels) and has further fueled my procrastination. I suppose I should get a bit of a free pass, considering how many hours I’ve spent at my kitchen table, marking, over the last few weeks. In my limited “free” time, I’ve decided to perform such frivolous tasks as washing clothes and exercising, rather than dealing with the artificial shrubbery.

I think Chinese New Year is approaching, though, so maybe we’ll try breaking down our tree for the occasion. Welcome, year of the snake: so long, reign of the fake tree.

Here’s the problem: I don’t know where to put all the baubles once we take them off the tree. I’m reluctant to just shove them in a box, particularly our childhood ornaments; I’m also hoping to avoid a three-day commitment of sorting wires and ribbons if I just toss the cheapo Wal-Mart trimmings we selected into a plastic bin, which was my first instinct. Images of my hands cut and bleeding from the perilous future wire sorting process are also clear in my imagination. I think our best plan will be to wrap the breakable things in newsprint, take the wires off the balls, and roll the lights up. That or buy a huge garbage bag to plunk the thing in, fully assembled, so I just have to take the plastic off have it ready to rock for next December.

Now I just need the time and energy to do that.

Is there a service that comes to a person’s home and takes down her Christmas tree? Sort of like a housekeeper who just clears away the holiday rubble? Does anyone live within reasonable driving distance who loves putting things away exactly where they should go? I will provide the tea and cookies if you want to come take care of business. Dog smooches will also be provided free of charge.

At least we had the foresight to set it up in the basement, where the only people who know about it live here.

copyright 2013:

One Comment Add yours

  1. Elita says:

    Oh dear, I wish I lived closer so I could come help! My kids think I am a total Ornament Nazi (not to offend but it’s the closest description) and to be fair, they are right. They laugh about The List of where each of the ornaments go, in which box & which little cubbyhole. They’ll thank me some day, I’m sure of it, because that list also indicates from whom & the year received. Yes, I’m Type A at times and yes, it took me 3 hours to put away the ornaments for a 6′ tree. The kids even missed a box when unpacking (perhaps purposefully). I have been collecting ornaments since I was in university, one or two each year, and now do the same for each of my 3 kids as well. We used to get a live tree that was about 10′ so I now have plenty of ornaments to switch out each year & feel like they’re all new. Anyway, my sister has a system that is less nuts than mine. She uses a clear plastic bin from Target (or Walmart, not sure), that came with dividers, like you’d find to separate glasses in cardboard boxes. There is also a couple of pieces of flat cardboard, cut to fit the interior of the box, that you place between the layers. There are loads of similar boxes online. I have heavy cardboard boxes since that’s what I could find here and they’ve held up pretty well. Ornaments go in one box (hers, not mine. I have 5 boxes), garland & other outside bits in another, and lights in another, wrapped AROUND the original boxes they came in because you can never get them to fit back in the box like they came. lol I would also caution against using newsprint as the ink can transfer to the ornaments. Plain white tissue paper is a better option. She also only needs to wrap the most delicate of the ornaments because they are usually ok with the separators. It is a bit of a effort to get it done the first time around but it saves loads of time when you unpack & take down for later years. Alternatively, cover the lot with a ginormous black garbage bag & tuck it in the corner of the garage. 🙂

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