This weekend my wife and I started putting away the Christmas decorations. The main task was the tree. Taking it down is a very regimented process.
Paula takes the ornaments off the tree and arranges them on the couch so they can be put away. She separates those that play music. It is my job take those, use the little screw driver to open up their battery compartments and silence them for another year.
I bring out the compartmentalized storage box and Paula carefully wraps each ornament in paper or bubble wrap. She then places them in the trays to be stacked in the box. I have a tendency to be a bit rough with the delicate items so I let her gentle hand take care of them.
Once the tree is ornament free, we take the garland off together and disassemble it. I compress the sections and pack them in our large tree storage box. It takes about 2 hours but we are very efficient. After 15 years, we have this down.
Today, it is my turn to finish undecorating and getting our living room back to "normal". As I get the large plastic containers out of our storage room and start putting things away, I realize the value that is placed on the relatively cheap things I'm about store away.
I know they're just glass, plastic, ceramic, fabric, ect. but because they represent a consistently specific time in our lives that's associated with many of our happiest times, they are worth more than what they're made of.
Wrapping the Christmas things in newspaper and bubble wrap gives you a sense of security. You are protecting them with the hopes that they in the same condition when you get them out again the following December.
Once packed up, you store them in a special place. I don't care what you say, the place you put your Christmas stuff is just a little bit more special than any other closet or storage space.
Except for looking at the pictures and maybe occasional looks at the boxes when you go into the storage room for something else that's stored there, you completely forget about the Christmas decorations.
Then the following November or December comes around and you haul out the boxes, open them up.
It feels like you are opening a time capsule. the discovery of each and every decoration or ornament brings back memories from holidays gone by.
So that's the process I'm going through today. I am deep into the challenge of finding a box for each item, making those boxes fit into the storage containers, and then getting those containers up onto the shelves where they'll spend the next 10 months or so.
Putting them away makes me a bit sad but I look forward to opening that "one year time capsule" I've created.
I want to enjoy what this year holds in store for me and my family but a small part of me can't wait until November. That's when I'll be reunited with the Charlie Brown music boxes, the musical snow globes, the plastic candy garland, and more will be reunited and enjoy the fun of Christmas, past, present, and future, once again.