Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Past

This week I got out our Christmas decorations. As I told Kent in October, I missed having the house decorated last year. Of course last year we were both gone so much, plus we went to Oklahoma for Christmas itself that we really didn’t have an opportunity to decorate. But this year is different. We are staying home.

We need this time together. My previous job’s travel tended to cluster in the spring and summer, while Kent’s job gets crazy starting late summer and continuing through the end of the year. Between work and Thanksgiving, he’s been gone the last three weeks and was home a week before that but gone several weeks before that. So we are looking forward to some quiet together time.

As I unpacked the boxes, I realized we had not really decorated for Christmas since 2006. We had the best house for Christmas decorations in Kansas City but in 2007, the house was on the market so most Christmas decorations weren’t allowed, although I did put some artificial garlands on our mantel. We had Eddie and Wally by then and Wally promptly started eating the garlands so they got put away almost immediately. In 2008, we were here but still had far too many things in the house to put up decorations. The tree had been abandoned before our move as far too large for Boston living (plus Wally would eat it). Without a mantel, I had no place to put stockings. I did put up a wall hanging my mother made for me years ago but that was about it.

Eddie is our present?
2009 was a bust since we’d flooded and the surviving Christmas decorations were at the salvage company. That’s the year we bought our little ornament tree and I cried in Target when Kent said we should get it. And of course last year we were just not around.

Going through the boxes was almost like opening presents. I found a pet collar I really didn’t remember we had. It's the one in the video I posted earlier this week. I think we bought it for poor little Sammie cat. Since he was pure black and the servant stairs in our Kansas City house had no lighting, we had already put a belled collar on him so we’d know where he was. We figured he wouldn’t mind the collar but sadly I have no pictures of him in it.

I know we got this stocking for him, because I remember the conversation Kent and I had about how silly it was to spend $12 on a stocking for a cat. Now I wish I had two more, although I still don’t know where I will put any stockings, let alone stockings for cats.

Do you decorate? If so, how much? When do you take things down? I take our decorations down on New Year’s Day. I also stop listening to Christmas music the day after Christmas.


FreshHell said...

We have a stocking for Pokey and since we do have a mantel around the fireplace, we hang them there. There are faux mantels that can be made/purchased if you're so inclined. or, just tack them on the wall. You are allowed to do whatever you want. :)

We always buy a fresh tree from the tree farm down the road. It's become a tradition we all enjoy (free hot chocolate!) and because the tree is live, I usually wait until 2 weeks before Xmas to get it. That's when the decorations come out. It is fun to revisit all the ornaments, etc. We take stuff down a week after Xmas - around the 6th. By then, the tree's a fire hazard which is our cue to pack everything away for another year.

kittiesx3 said...

I solved the stocking hanging issue by buying a couple of stocking holders, the kind you'd normally sit on a mantel but in this case they are on the console that holds the TV.

We used to have loads of stocking hangers but I suspect those were casualties of the flood. I look forward to the time when I no longer realize something's missing and then realize why.

lemming said...

Ornaments and decorations stay up until after Epiphany - partly to be seasonal, and partly because that's usually when I have time and energy to do so!

Kent J said...

I think Eddie looks sad because there aren't any presents under the tree. He's just going to wait there (patiently?) until some arrive.

Jeanne said...

We have cat stockings and people stockings. I usually decorate starting around the first of December, but haven't felt like it yet this year. We will be at home this year, too, so I'm working up to it. My mother's rule was that you had to undecorate and clean the house for New Year's Day, else it was bad luck. Some years we do that. Others we pretend to be Episcopalian and do it before the 12 days of Christmas are up.

Ronna said...

We have always decorated even when we are going away but my teens have had to be bribed into participating the last two years. This year no decorations are up yet; however, some homemade chili and hot cocoa are getting some friends over tomorrow to help James decorate while I watch. Getting the Christmas decorations put up has taken longer every year. Personally, I think we are now following the Russian Orthodox Church calendar and the decorations come down just a little before the Superbowl.

Anonymous said...

Undecorate and clean up by new years! That's crazy! Sometimes, the tree stays up until Maddy's birthday, which is in, um, February.

kd said...

I like to decorate just after Thanksgiving, though this year the task is dragging on a bit -- the tree is done and do-dads are about, but the mantle is the final touch to be completed this weekend.

We have matching people and pet stockings, a Pottery Barn splurge when we first married in '95. We got Iris, a 1yo Border Collie, and promptly ordered one for her. As we acquired more pets and later had kids, I ordered more stockings. Thank goodness PB still carries that line!

As for'll happen when it happens. I'll admit to February some years, and being antsy as early as Dec 26.

kittiesx3 said...

I never thought about using my Episcopal upbringing to determine the pack em away date. Hmmm.