So…the last time I blogged was about 5 years ago. My son, now a Senior in High School, was playing Pop Warner football at the time. Now, if you’re familiar with Pop Warner you know that the dreams of young boys are held within their coaches Saturday morning playbook. While the boys are on the field learning how to take a “dressing down” from their position coach and not cry, the parents (mostly moms) are on the sidelines “catching up” and trying to pretend they don’t hear the barks and orders being shouted in the distance. It was during one of these chat sessions that a mom said…”you have the best dating stories…you should start a blog.” So, with a choir of football moms encouraging me to write, I did.
Not surprisingly, it didn’t last long. I discovered that writing about your dating life is like traveling across country in a station wagon; it’s exciting to start the journey, but at some point you get tired of seeing the signs for the Wigwam Motel and ‘Turn Here to see The Blue Whale of Catoosa” and you wonder, “Good Lord, when are we gonna get there.”
But today, I’m dusting off the 'ole keyboard to talk about the tradition of returning my house back to it’s original state at the end of the holiday season. We celebrate Christmas, so that day of reckoning – is usually a week after Santa visits. It's worth mentioning that transforming my home into a Christmas Wonderland is like watching a scene from Mary Poppins… string lights dance around the house…our day-to-day dish-ware packs itself up while the snowflake plates and snowmen bowls move in…all while I listen to “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. It’s magic!
So, as you can imagine, I dread the day when I have to put it all back. It actually seems a little sacrilege to undo what brings our house joy, but we all must move on, start our New Year’s resolutions and ultimately move the loveseat back to its rightful place.
This year, I had a game plan and took about 2 minutes to think through what would make the experience more fun. I thought I'd share what I came up with...a few tips and tricks that turned my Holiday Finish-line into a fun new tradition.
1.) Class it Up. I decided that I’d watch a critically-acclaimed movie. Ya know..the ones you don’t really know anything about – but they're ALWAYS nominated for Oscars. So I chose Neverland. I thought it would be fun and whimsical; after all the whole thing IS about Peter Pan. Turns out, it has plenty of whimsy; but it’s also pretty sad and a little too introspective. Between packing away my son’s homemade ornaments and (spoiler alert) Peter’s mother dying…I was a mess at the end.
Lesson: Read the movie reviews or go with an old faithful like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or say, Scarface.
2.) Fancy Drinks in Fancy Glasses. In between wrapping my nutcracker collection for storage, I sipped a fun poinsettia inspired cocktail (see photo) co-designed by my friend Nicky, and why not; we're celebrating afterall. My cocktail of choice included champagne, cranberry and orange relish, apples, muddled mint and orange juice. Hold the Champagne and add club soda for the 'zing-free' version! Delicious…either way!
3.) Remove Ornaments with care. This year we had an 11 foot tree…yep 11 feet of wilderness inside my loft. My son and I live in an old Tobacco Warehouse so our tree stood comfortably and grand in our living room that has 21 foot ceilings. A tree that size took a sizable amount of time to get all ‘dolled up’ for the holidays; and so it’s reasonable to expect the same in reverse. This year…I SLOWED DOWN and took my time. I carefully removed my grandmother’s red and silver satin ornaments as if each one carried it’s own special memory. Don’t rush the process…reflect, honor and delight in the tradition.
3.) Rearrange. Once the tree is on the curb and you’ve said your goodbyes, it’s the perfect time to rearrange the furniture. Nothing says…Welcome 2020 than a new floor plan for your furniture. Change the pillow sequence on the couch, move the sectional, rearrange the candles and picture frames. Ask yourself, does the TV or the bookcase have to be there; or could I flip the room?
3.) Game Face 2020. I like closure. I like the feeling of tying a bow on the previous year and forging ahead! When I look around at my vacuumed rugs, folded blankets and perfectly placed pillows, I of course say, ”Let's host a New Year’s Eve Vision Board Party.” I mean why not…I did all this work to pack away my Christmas cheer…might as well toast the New Year with a few friends and our goals. Oh the fun never stops!
Wishing you and yours a VERY HAPPY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
Hugs and Love – Jes
*Now, where did I store my party hats?