Three Up; Three Down

And no, I’m not talking about baseball batters. I’m talking about Christmas decorations. It took three days to put them up and three days to take them down. At the beginning of the process, one day was devoted to taking down and stowing the things that are on display year-round. At the other end, a day was devoted to putting them all back up.

I didn’t accomplish this job by myself. Putting things up, I had a lot of help wrestling the bigger items and boxes out of the garage and into the house, and the reverse was true once Christmas was over, but the design work itself was entirely my own.

Over the years when our interior designer Jim Hunt was in charge of the process, we accumulated an amazing assortment of decorations, and lots and lots of boxes. With him at the helm, every room in our house and the front porch as well ended up looking like a department store window with decorations on every flat surface. The result was breathtaking, and that was the good news. The bad news was that the entire process took the better part of a month. And once the holidays were over, taking everything back down and stowing it away was a big job, too.

After Jim retired, the grandkids took over, but this year, if it was to be, it was up to me. That meant that it was time to downsize. Decorations that hadn’t been used in several years went bye-bye. In addition to the main Christmas tree in the entryway, we used to have a forest of trees on the front porch and in the family room as well. This year there was one tree only. In my slimmed down version of Christmas Decor, the living room was all Santas all the time. The front porch was for reindeer, the hallway niche became Nutcracker Central, and the family room was devoted to angels. By the time I finished, everything seemed to be in its proper place, and I was particularly proud of the Soft Santa pyramid!

Yes, this was a far less complex version of Christmas decorating than we’ve had before, but I liked it. I like to think of it as understated elegance.

And this time, when things went back into the garage, the boxes—far fewer of them—were filled and labeled differently. Porch decorations are in one box. Ditto for living room, dining room, family room. Next year the applicable boxes will be able to go straight to the appropriate room rather than sorting them in the garage and dragging them into the house on an individual basis.

This year our celebrations were understated, as well. Lil Jul Aften had the usual crowd, including our four great grandkids, but everyone was able to make it back home safely. With deteriorating driving conditions in Snoqualmie Pass, that was very important. As for Christmas dinner? That one didn’t happen at all due to snow and ice, but the beef roast we bought for that is still stowed in the freezer, and we’ll have it eventually.

The holidays are over. It’s time for me to go back to work at my real job which is writing books. I’m okay at doing Christmas decorations, but I think I’m better at writing.