I started by taking down all the Christmas cards. It was as good a place to start as any.
Except that, being me, I had to re-read every card to remind myself of all the
lovely messages our friends and family had penned, while at the same time trying to count them, in order to prove to Mr B that my prolific spending on cards and postage stamps has been re-paid in equal measure. Pleasure given = pleasure received. I kept losing
count and having to start all over again which hardly helped.
Anyway, it all took some time before my 113 cards (give or take one or two which may have fallen down behind the sideboard) found their way into
a large carrier bag soon to be deposited on a shelf in my wardrobe. Here they will stay for at least two years because, come next Christmas when I need to find them in order to use them for the fashioning of Christmas crowns, cards, gift tags, advent calendars
and the like, I will have forgotten exactly where I stowed them on This Day in January 2015.
Having dealt with the cards, so to speak, I started on the Christmas tree. I am telling you all this, incidentally,
so that you can express wonder at my new sense of order. It might just be one of my New Year's Resolutions. I say "might be" because my latest idea, brand new for 2015, is to give all my New Year's Resolutions a try-out. Then, if I break them after, say, 24
hours, it won't count because I was only floating them as a New Year's Thought, rather than an actual Resolution. If, on the other hand, I am still keeping one or more of them after, say, a month, I think it will be fair to assume that they have become a habit,
so it will be safe to promote them to the status of Resolution and boast about them accordingly. I am surprised that nobody has ever thought about this idea before. Think of the angst it will save, the feelings of failure, the wiping off the gloss of a New
Year before it has even properly started. I would write a book about it but first of all I have to somehow persuade all the twiggy bits of our Christmas tree back into a box which looks far too small for all of them.
We only lost one Christmas tree decoration the year. Young Morgan, aka the Duracell Bunny, handed it to me very carefully shortly after his arrival at Ours with his parents and brothers. I think he may have hopped on it. I was so very impressed with
his honesty that I could hardly be cross with him (it is, to be honest, impossible to be cross with the Duracell Bunny who is simply adorable). Apart from anything else it was, after all, a seriously old bauble. Counting them as I replaced them in two battered
boxes, I realised that, of the sixteen red and gold baubles we originally bought, nine still remain which is a pretty low attrition rate, all things considered.
Lots of people I know adopt a different colour
scheme for their tree, year on year. This year, red and gold; next year silver and blue - my Christmas tree is the same, year in, year out. Maybe when the last of my red and gold baubles drops from the tree and shatters into sad pieces, I shall go for an edgier,
more modern look? Though, more likely, I shall buy another set of red and gold baubles from the charity shop.
I spent an unproductive half-hour searching for two stout cardboard boxes in which to store the
wreath (which I have remembered to remove from the front door) and the Really Rather Beautiful Mantelpiece Decoration with its three deep red candles. Last year it had white candles, so never let it be said that I don't ring the changes. In truth, I had no
alternative but to replace the white ones which had somehow lodged themselves right at the far side of the loft when Mr B went up to retrieve the boxes of Christmas decorations and he wasn't prepared to risk life and limb clambering among the rafters for the
sake of a candle or three. No stout cardboard boxes can be found so I have to resort to a large Fortnum and Mason carrier bag (no, I have absolutely no idea how I came into possession of such an august receptacle.)
All that remains is to persuade Mr B to put everything back in the loft till next year but I shall have to choose my moment, preferably when he is feeling 100% better than he is at the moment. The decorations, in their boxes, will just have to linger
on the landing for a while, where we will trip over them every time we need to visit the loo in the middle of the night, triggering many a Domestic Argument in the wee small hours.
No longer shall I greet
everyone with a cheery "Happy Christmas!" At least not for another eleven months. Christmas, as evidenced by my bare walls, windowsills and mantelpiece, is well and truly over.
Rather like Santa, it has been