This year I wanted to do less.
Less with my manic, glassy-eyed hauling of stored ornaments. Less of my frantic bow-making when I realize the ribbon I used last year is undeniably hideous. Less of asking myself, where did I put that twelfth box of holiday stuff. Less with the hanging and nailing and hauling ladders and asking Paul to quit performing cold fusion to come help me hang a wreath.
Less of looking at my absolute mountain of Christmas decorations and asking myself WHY I HAVE SO MUCH CRAP.
Glass crap, garland crap, berry crap, ribbon crap, random sparkly crap, fake gold crap, fake silver crap, fake mini-tree crap, bow crap, boxwood crap, red crap, green crap…
Bells, glitter, holly, ornaments, wreaths… Miles and miles and miles of lights which are totally tangled up and not labeled with their length so that every year I am either short three feet around the front door, or have an extra fifteen feet.
Essentially what I have is an investment. Of the Beanie Baby variety. Worthless. And idiotic.
Every season, being swept into an irrational Christmas frenzy. Taking leave of my senses and somehow accumulating MORE STUFF.
A headlong dash into stored chaos.
An explosion of sparkle, ribbon, and plastic junk.
Let me emphasize the double futility of it all– how I end up facedown in the ensuing mess. Boxes pulled apart. Me, wondering WHY in GOD’S NAME I bought all this crap.
WHY am I spending my free time, making a huge mess that will have to be repeated in reverse in a month?
Last year I SWORE that this year I would do ONLY THE ESSENTIALS.
The bare essentials.
The very minimum you can do, and still claim to have decorated for Christmas.
I am tired of feeling like I am drowning in my own junk. So obviously the first step in my recovery would be to NOT go in The Christmas Tree Shop.
I drove past and pinched myself in an attempt at aversion therapy.
I chanted— evil, soul-killing, sucker of time…
But my addict-self piped up—what if they have ONE thing that you really need?
Oh. Hello. My precious.
If you read my DIY Mirror Ball Chandelier post where I explained how I believe that Christmas is synonymous with Disco Balls. And how I am like Liberace. But with more flair? Then you saw that I do not technically need any more mirror balls.
But the shiny-loving, raccoon-part of my brain demanded that I buy these and take them back to my den. I tried to leave, but it chattered insistently and clawed at my good sense.
It actually demanded that I buy ALL of them. Which I didn’t. And which I consider a triumph of human logic over my most primitive instincts.
The biggest restriction on cleaning out the bin was Paul. Imagining his face if I came home with the ENTIRE BACK OF THE CAR FILLED WITH DISCO BALLS.
Was a deterrent.
Raccoons are crafty though. And I realized that Paul had gone to Home Depot. Which always takes three hours longer than it should.
And that if I scurried REALLY FAST. I could beat him home and shuttle these to the garage with the rest of their friends; and Paul would NEVER KNOW.
But when I drove up our street, Paul was just getting out of his car… And he is so annoyingly helpful, he practically ran over to help me carry groceries.
You can imagine his face when he opened the back door.
I preempted any commentary from him by saying self-righteously– I’m a BLOGGER now! I have to do a HOLIDAY post.
Paul said calmly— Really? I think you are a compulsive hoarder.
Which is true. However, now that he is stuck with me, I shouldn’t have to hide it. Or feel badly.
I mean, there are certainly things about himself that he failed to disclose before our wedding day. For example— how he believes that a response during a basic exchange of information is optional.
And how he believes that when doing laundry, it is acceptable to put ALL the clothing in the machine. Regardless of HOW MUCH CLOTHING THAT IS.
But I didn’t point that out.
Instead, I said authoritatively—my readers expect me to be CREATIVE.
He said very seriously—your readers do not have to live in Saturday Night Fever.
Then he went and got the ladder.
I will allow you to decide for yourself, the extent to which this is the awesomest thing you have ever seen.
I myself? Can barely comprehend the stupendousness of it.
I will love you EVEN MORE… if you share me with your friends.