What is this thing that is so dreaded that I am putting so much energy into NOT doing it? This chore that I’m working so hard at forgetting?
I’m talking about taking down the Christmas decorations, of course. Sure, they are all fun and exciting and sparkly in November, when I just can’t wait to crack open the red and green storage tubs to see my holiday treasures that have been hidden away for almost a year. But by the time the first week of January hits, those very same precious snowmen, Santas and ornaments have become dusty, commonplace and overlooked. Suddenly they have evolved into one of my least favorite household duties.
Every day for the past week and a half, I have successfully distracted myself with other projects, pastimes, and activities. But today I could no longer put it off. I was expecting some neighbors over at three and I had to get those decorations put away and the house back into pre-holiday order. I felt sure I was the only slacker who had not un-decorated. No problem I thought. Plenty of time.
It was at this point that I posted this confession as my Facebook status,
“Kate is done procrastinating about taking down the Christmas decorations. Company coming in 3 hours. (I know…it’s well beyond the socially acceptable time to still have Christmas decorations up. Perhaps I LIKE being socially unacceptable. Ever think of that??)”
(Note the tone of defiance at the end of the confession, practically daring anyone judge me on my holiday clean-up dawdling.)
I left FB up and went to work. I started off with the fragile nativity sets, carefully wrapping each piece in newspaper. Not so bad. Then I moved on to clear off the fireplace mantel, the shelves and the top of the piano. Still making good time.
Checked in with FB. Four comments: three also confessing to having their decorations up, one saying her tree had been taken down “forever ago”. Moved on to unwrap the pictures on the walls that I had so excitedly wrapped 4 weeks ago. Next project – to put away the unwrapped presents that were still under the tree that had yet to find proper homes in the house.
Back to check into FB. Three more comments all admitting to having their Christmas decorations still up. I was NOT alone. There were others out there like me. I was feeling pretty good. That is until I noticed what time it was. My neighbors were due over in less than an hour, and I still had my tree to take down and my regular decorations to put back up.
I rushed into supermom mode, quickly getting all the ornaments off the tree (only breaking one!), and untangling the lights and garland which had been woven so lovingly through the tree branches.. Then the big debate in my mind…how to best get the tree out of the house all by myself. Preferably without sloshing water on the floor, and with as little needle loss as possible. I decided to slowly drag the tree, still in the tree stand, across the living room floor, through the entryway, out the front door and down the outside steps. Let me tell you that this was probably NOT the wisest method of tree removal. I DID slosh water all over the floor, and I did get pine needles EVERYWHERE.
And now I only had 20 minutes until the arrival of the expected company. Twenty minutes…and a wet floor, fallen needles in every nook and cranny, boxes of decorations filling the entryway and of course, no make-up on and unfixed hair. (Who had time to get ready with all that un-decorating to accomplish?)
So I did the only thing I could do…I called the expected guests and told them we would have to reschedule our visit. That I had an unexpected “appointment” and wouldn’t be available…Well, I did! It was unexpected and it was an “appointment”. I just didn’t tell them it was an appointment with cleaning up the disaster I created. (Come on. Don’t judge me. It’s merely semantics.)
I now have 14 comments on that FB status. Overwhelming support for my procrastination. Thanks for the validation, friends. (FB is great therapy.) Here’s a few excerpts:
- “You know, when my tree is up this long its as if my tree is a little person talking to me everyday saying things like “take me down, think how long its going to take to put away these ornaments, don’t you want to have this over and done with?” Very similar to how I used to feel having an English paper hanging over my head.”
- “One year I left my decorations up until March, just because I could.”
- “I haven’t even toyed with the idea of taking my tree down. I enjoy it more after the holidays than during them…less pressure.”
- “You mean you’re not supposed to just leave them up all year? Sure saves a lot of time….”