Winter Holiday Break.Day 15 and Counting. Goodbye Christmas. Until Next Year...
Saying goodbye to Christmas is always sad. From the day I put all the decorations up, right after Thanksgiving, I can't help but countdown until the day they have to come down again. It is so much work to put them up, but once up, so joyful to see them everywhere through the house. Taking them down, on the other hand, is this antithesis of this, except of course for all the hard work.
On New Year's Eve I told the kids that we would be taking the decorations down the next day. Upon hearing this, they reacted with great sadness, understandably, and asked me if we could keep at least the tree up all year. For a fleeting moment I was tempted to say yes. After all, it is so pretty sitting in the corner of the family room, not mention keeping it up would allow me to avoid all the work of packing away six boxes of delicate ornaments, not to mention storing the tree. Even if I was the kind of person who could fathom the idea of leaving holiday decorations up year round, I explained to the kids that they wouldn't feel special anymore if they were there all the time. One of the things that makes them special is the limited time you have to enjoy them,
So Yesterday we said goodbye to Christmas and our roses as well, for now.
Catherine and Graham agreed to be my dismantling assistants. They did a great job with all the delicate decorations, helping me take them down, wrap them up carefully, put them in their storage containers and carry them to their respective homes for the next 11 months.
While Catherine, Graham, and I tackled the decorations in the house, Garin volunteered to work on the seemingly never-ending rose pruning project in the yard. He did an amazing job and worked for hours without a single complaint. When I offered to help him his response was, "No Mommy I am going to take care of as many of the bushes as I can for you. I don't want you to have to do any of them." I wonder if he made a New Year's resolution, unbeknownst to me, to be the most helpful son on earth? Whatever the reason, I showered him with hugs and kisses as a sign of my gratitude.
Miles, on the other hand, does not believe in helping nor New Year's resolutions, apparently. After begging him to choose any job that might be helpful, he offered to pull some weeds in the backyard. Okay, I guess that's better than nothing. That didn't last long before he was up to his old tricks again. Leopards don't seem to change their spots.
After tackling the rest of the rooms, Catherine helped me to take down the tree, always a big job. Before we finished packing up all the ornaments, she held up on of our favorites, The Beatles.
Graham decided to pose in the Christmas tree skirt before we packed it away. Miles said he looked like a "church guy" (meaning a priest, we presumed), so Graham took a solemn bow.
All packed away safely and ready for next year.
While I made lunch for the gang, Catherine headed outside to the garden to try to wrangle Miles into helping (with anything), as both Garin and Graham had been unsuccessful before her. I am not sure she was any more successful than they were, but they seemed to have fun taking these artsy selfies of their shadows.
This was Miles making himself useful again. While Catherine and I took down the tree (earlier) and Graham was outside tag-teaming with Garin in the yard, Miles was walking around with my phone taking nonsense photos of price tags on Christmas ornament containers, close up photos of Graham's face, and of course the predictable selfie. He'll find just about anything to do to keep from having to help. He is a master at it by now.
When I looked at my phone later in the evening I found at least 100 shots of this same image of Fitzy sleeping in his bed. I wonder who took these?
Once all the decorations were down and packed away, Catherine and I headed outside to finish the roses in the garden. While we did that the boys took care of the tree (I will not lie. We heard a few raised voices as the tree made its difficult journey to be stored.). We fight with the tree every year to get it back in its cover and moved to the garage. I thought having an artificial tree was supposed to make things easier? At least it's better for the environment, one hopes.
Catheirne and I worked in the yard until the last drop of sunlight was gone. We pruned, picked up refuse I spent the last hour blowing all the leaves that had made their way into our yard during the storms of this week.
As always, Fitzy kept all of us company as we rotated through the yard.
In closing, I am the luckiest (and most grateful) mom in world to have (three) such capable and helpful children. Miles continues to be a work in progress.