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Packing up Christmas

Just this past weekend I started the sad and somewhat daunting process of un-decking my halls and nooks and crannies, and packing up Christmas.

Sad, because my house, where only moments before had been transformed by all the colorful decorations, began to look almost boring once the traces of Christmas started being removed. Even though I usually keep up some of my hand cut snowflakes and simple red decorations that seem appropriate for both winter and Valentine’s Day, it’s just not the same.

Daunting, because I have a lot of holiday stuff I’ve acquired through the years and even if no one else will see my house during the holidays, I like to decorate every single room.

I find Christmas to be the most magical time of the year and I savor as many precious moments as possible.

I love…

  • The music and the carols
  • The movies and TV specials and the end of the year countdowns
  • The Christmas cards and photos, and the newsletters too
  • The holiday lights and the sparkly decorations
  • The once-a-year cookies and the striped peppermint candy canes
  • The gatherings and the scrumptious potlucks
  • The special traditions and oh so many fragrant and shiny memories
  • The festive evergreen wreaths and all the pretty ribbons tied up into bows
  • The stockings hung with care and the wrapped presents seldom hung at all
  • And of course the very reason for the season – a newborn baby born in a manger

I seriously love it all. It would be difficult to choose my favorite part of this season, but the one definitely near the top would have to be the Christmas tree. Everyday my first waking act is to turn on the tree lights, even before brushing my teeth or making the coffee. And every evening before calling it a day and hitting my pillow, my last is to turn off those very same lights.

This year my decorating began the morning after Thanksgiving and while I was happily rediscovering all the magic and wonders in my basement storage containers, I discovered a surprise inside one of them. Nestled on top of an ornament box I found a card entitled: To Me.

Surprise Tucked Inside

Surprise Tucked Inside

Last January in the middle of taking down Christmas from these same halls and nooks and crannies, I got an idea to take one of my Christmas cards and write myself a note. Once it had been safely tucked inside the box, I’d forgotten all about it.

This little card with my handwritten words reminded me to savor the moments and the true reason for the season. I even signed it Love, Me. I probably shouldn’t admit it, but the sweetness of this gesture got me a little choked up. I’m kind of chuckling as I write these words, remembering as I carried the card upstairs, along with an armful of assorted ornaments, how I found myself smiling and reflecting on a plethora of past Christmases. It was a touching moment. I also kept the card displayed on my studio desk throughout the holiday season as a gentle reminder to myself.

Wherever you might be in your own holiday un-decking and if you want a sweet pick me up next November/December, I encourage you to take the time to pause a moment before packing everything away. Grab one of your Christmas cards or a blank card if you don’t have one and write your future self a little note of encouragement along with some affirming words of love. Maybe consider it a random act of kindness to yourself.

On Saturday, as I started tucking this Christmas back into the many boxes, I selected a card and wrote myself a note. I found the perfect home for it on top of some carefully wrapped ornaments and tissue layered mementos. I’ve also decided this is now my new January tradition. If you choose to do the same, I’m fairly certain you may be thanking me or at least thinking of me next year when you discover a fun surprise waiting among your holiday decorations too.

A Card for Christmas 2016

A Card for Christmas 2016

Whatever you decide, please continue to savor the wonder-filled moments in life and have yourself a blessed and truly magical 2016!


6 comments on “Packing up Christmas

  1. Barbara Cartalucca
    January 12, 2016

    Very nice.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Jan O'Brien
    January 13, 2016

    Loved reading your reflections Sue. My favorite is undecorating the tree. I carefully wrap each ornament and think about the person who gave it to me or when and where I bought it. Some make me happy and a few make me sad as the person is no longer with us, but the memories are so very special. Thanks my friend and wish you a special 2016!

  3. Diane Scheurell
    January 13, 2016

    You are brilliant! What a wonderful new tradition.

  4. spencedaniel2012
    January 15, 2016

    I so appreciate all of your comments and good words. All the best. Always.

  5. Leslie
    February 1, 2016

    You, my friend, are one of a kind! I always knew there was a reason I was drawn to you and your beautiful daughter!!!!

    • spencedaniel
      February 2, 2016

      Awww…thanks, Leslie. The feeling is most definitely mutual.

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