When I was a child, my mother never took the Christmas decorations down before The Epiphany, or Little Christmas, or Three Kings Day, in remembrance of the three kings who visited Baby Jesus on Christmas. That first Sunday of January was always a pretty big deal because it meant that the Christmas Season had officially ended.
Little Me. Secretly hoping my mother kept the tree up way past Ephipany!
When my three kids were young, I followed that same tradition and actually took the tree down the Monday after, when the kids were in school. And they came home to the house the way it was before the holidays.
Today I woke up early, enjoyed my morning coffee then hit the deck, so to speak, to dissemble the banisters of the greens, lights and ribbons. Ornaments were taken off the tree as were the gold garland and lights.
Screw it. I didn’t even bother to get dressed. Once I decided to take the decorations down, that was it!
Until late next November or early December, this little cutie is going for a long nap!
Why does it take less than a half-hour to put UP the lights and about three hours to take the lights DOWN? And that’s only off the tree!
Honestly, I can’t stand the way the banisters look when I take the decorations down. That’s the one thing that bothers me. I love the embellished stairways!
Back to basics now. No more greens and berries atop the cupboard.
The runner we purchased in France last summer is back on the chest. That Waterford vase was a wedding gift from my ex-husband and his girlfriend. Isn’t it pretty? It found a permanent place!
All holiday pillows and throws are now in tubs. Damn–it looks bland now!
Tables and beds were stripped of Holiday linens. Every decoration was put away. The large and extremely heavy leaf that rests in the dining room table was taken out—making the transition to the smaller, more intimate one where Bonaparte and I enjoy our evening meals.
The downstairs guest room is back to normal…
And all the Holiday pillows and throws that were downstairs are with their upstairs pillows in tubs for next Holiday Season!
I was on a roll. The kitchen got the scrub down from me too. All that holiday baking left its mark in my work space and needed to be a bare slate once again. Floors were swept and scrubbed.
I also spent the day boiling and reboiling the snail shells from the escargots I made. White vinegar in boiling water. Four times around does the job. Now they are drying!
The only signs of Christmas 2017 are the many Poinsettias that I can’t bring myself to get rid of. I actually like to keep them around for as long as possible. The Christmas tree is still standing. It is as naked as a jay bird and I’m in a state of shock that the tree hasn’t dried out yet. Oh, there are fallen needles but it isn’t that bad. We’ll take the tree out later during the week when Bonaparte has time. But overall, the house is bare.
The plaid tablecloth has been replaced with a Provencal one! The poinsettias–some of which have been here since Christmas 2016! I can’t get rid of these.
I also moved some to the dining room table/my pretend office! Geez. When the kids were young the dining room table was the homework and crafting table. Now it’s my make believe office!
Our naked tree. I’m shocked at how remarkably well this one held up! The needles are still very much pliable!
The decorations are marked and packed in plastic tubs and I only had one close call. I lost my phone. In fear that I packed it away and was getting all anxiety-ridden that I would have to go through all the tubs, I retraced my steps and checked a large trash bag on the counter. Thankfully, it was there. I was carrying so much garbage around that I inadvertently threw the damned iPhone in the trash!
And now that all is calm, I can enjoy a few gifts that keep on giving.
Oh. We didn’t exchange gifts this Christmas. It turned out to be a good thing too because everyone has what they want. There’s nothing we need. All I wanted was to be with the kids and we had that precious time together. I
However—we did exchange stockings. And they were filled with candies, little things like socks and playing cards, bottle openers, toiletries and Old Navy Pajama bottoms and tee shirts.
My stocking was not filled by Bonaparte, nor was it filled by Santa. Oona had the pleasurable task of filling mine. And it did not come with coal. But rather, it was filled with a few items that would keep on giving—for a while.
One of the things that was in the stocking was a package of two makeup remover towels. Fresh Face. Oh, dear God—I was shocked at how great these towels are. Who thinks of this stuff anyway? The towels are very soft. One side a bit less soft and acts as an exfoliating scrubber for skin and makeup. The other, softer side is to clean. At first, I was skeptical about these—there’s no way makeup can be removed with something this soft. But wait. I couldn’t believe how clean the towels get your face. This is a great gift that’ll keep giving and giving!
The brand is “Fresh Face”
One black and one pink and let me tell you..
I swear I didn’t even need my Albolene to take this gunk off my face! This towel and warm water did it. I’m still in shock! These things work!
Another gift that will keep giving—and has managed to give every day since I received it, may be a bit taboo of a subject to talk about, but—it’s the greatest thing since hot and spicy tortilla chips! Poo-Pourri! That’s right. A little ounce of lemon,Bergamot and lemongrass. You spray this delightful elixir into the toilet bowl before you go poo-poo! Trust me. This stuff works like a charm!
Hey. It has the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval. This works. Never be embarrassed again when you go to someone’s home to visit. You’ll spend all day on your throne at home!
But what really fascinated me about receiving this little scented gem of a gift was why?? Why did Oona stuff this into my Christmas stocking? This—from my child. Mind you, when the kids were young, the door to the little alcove in my master bathroom that housed my throne was always opened. Not by me either. Either the dogs decided to follow me hoping for a fallen piece of toilet paper or whatever else they could snatch from me, or one of the kids came running in for money or some sort of crisis. As if I could help them while sitting down depantsed.
Besides that, I thought anything that left my body came out smelling like a rose.
Apparently not—but this Poo-Pourri is so great that we will be purchasing more of this.
Facial masks and bath fizzies were also a part of the little gifts that’ll keep on giving. Although I’m down to the last fizzie.
Oona knows what mommy likes! I used the hydrating one today after I decided to look human again!
…and I’m down to my last bath fizzie thingy!
My stocking also contained this gift that’ll keep giving. Bonaparte and I can play while enjoying our aperitifs!
And last night, Bonaparte handed me a wrapped box. I reminded him that we promised no gifts. But he assured me it was just a little something. And when I opened it up, I was thrilled with that little something.
It’s a new bottle of my favorite winter scent. Guerlain’s L’Instant. This scent was the first gift Bonaparte ever gave me. We were a “new” couple at the time and he had to go to Paris to take care of some family business. He came home with L’Instant and I’ve been wearing it ever since I received it in 2004!
I have never, and I mean, never received so many compliments from strangers–especially strange men, when I’m wearing this. It’s like a scent magnet!!!
I’m at the bottom of my present bottle and this is absolutely the gift that’ll keep giving over the next year!
Oh…and just before I contemplated getting dressed, the doorbell rang. The postman delivered some hair for me. How could I not make myself presentable? It was a wig I purchased for $6.99! $6.99—I’m telling you I can’t buy shampoo and hair conditioner for that price!
I gave myself a gift that keeps giving. Hair! Hey, I cleaned up rather well, didn’t I–but I stayed in my pj’s all day! Why, I look almost as good as the Bobbi Boss wig model!
Bathed and makeup and hair on, I felt like a million bucks. But I ended up in my pajamas for the remainder of the day. I do clean up rather well though!
New hair. Holiday PJ’s–you do realize I’ll be wearing these PJ’s until they fall apart–don’t you?
So that was it. The decorations are down. Goodbye Christmas 2017. How’s about you? Are your decorations still up? Do you take them down at Epiphany or do you wait a bit longer? Do you miss Christmas already or are you happy it is back to normal? I wanna know.
Here’s the last Christmas Carol of the year. As I was putting this away, I had to listen to it and make snow……
Oh Holy Night. Such a beautiful Carol!