Today, it took four of us (Jenna, Paul, Ellen and I) three hours to dismantle the Holiday decorations. It is a tradition take down everything the weekend after the New Year and "table" the Christmas feeling for eleven months. With the house back to normal, Susan will be happy tomorrow as the kids leave for school and the routine begins again. The cats, nervous throughout the dismantling bustle, appeared after we returned from our Dairy Queen treat for all our hard work.
The Christmas storage closet hit capacity this year since Jenna had procured and decorated yet another tree (the fourth in the house). So much of the overflow went to the unfinished basement until I can determine a suitable storage location.
This year may be the first year that our job was 100% complete. Growing up, I told the girls that there is always one "crafty" decoration that hides from us during the flurry of putting away everything It's always been a side contest in the family to be the one to discover the elusive decoration months after this weekend.
The reindeer antlers on Susan's car and the wreath that Jenna secretly attached to my front bumper are gone. The dog's Christmas suits and LED flashing collars are put away. The outside wreath and lights are missing from the bushes and house. Most of the snow has now melted away. As decorator queen Jenna said, it's sad to see the house suddenly look barren - inside and out.
But one hidden decoration remains - persistently extending its Holiday hope.