I make my own timetable for when I put my Christmas decorations away, and this year it is because I am expecting a houseful this weekend.
I have written before about the birthday gift I get every year from my daughters—they come to put up my Christmas decorations and we all have lunch together. Of late they have been bringing their daughters with them. In the interest of making things go smoother earlier in the week I bring up from the basement the boxes and bags of the decorations I have amassed over the years. It was so much harder this year. Stairs are not my friend, especially the metal-edged basement stairs where I have at least twice taken a tumble. So I told the girls that maybe they should cull some of the wreaths and garlands and bows and baubles and that they were not to tell me which items were going to disappear, nor would I tell them what to get rid of. They took me at my word. I also said we would put nothing outside which necessitated climbing a ladder in the middle of winter.
So farewell to the outside decorations (just a few lights on the low hedges.) Even the mantel decorations were not as fancy as these in a photo from a few years ago.
Today there were far fewer boxes to take down to the basement and even so I have left one or two for the resident handyman. Last year we bought an artificial tree: a small one and I love it. No more needles to clog up the vacuum cleaner. I was sad when we made that decision, remembering the years when it was such fun for the family to go out and buy a tree together and to position it just right in its stand.
Soon everything will be packed away ready for next year, although I do intend to finish the patchwork tree skirt I started four years ago.