I finally got the Christmas decoration tubs put back in the crawl space a grand four days before Christmas.
Some years it’s just much harder to get it together for the holidays, isn’t it?
Those tubs had been blocking the upstairs hall for two weeks. We had to suck in our tummies and walk on tiptoes to get to either of the bedrooms. On laundry days, it was a major feat to get around them with the clothes basket.
The morning I put them away, the stacks had grown even taller with the addition of the wreath storage bags. They came from my bedroom where they had been balanced on top of the quilt rack for those two weeks. In fact, I had to pick up a stack of folded laundry to get to them, by the time I decided to do anything about them.
When I bought some fresh wreaths at the tree lot in Koehler when we bought the trees, I had forgotten that last year we had bought fake wreaths at an after-Christmas sale. Last year we sort of gave in. I realized we were getting busier and busier, and I’d have to sacrifice making homemade wreaths if I didn’t want to go completely insane, so I prepared for this year, then forgot about it.
It’s the year of no free time, between working all day and activities and meetings every night. On the rare occasions we are home, we are working on house projects. On a 100-year-old house, there’s always a project, but this one is worse than most. We are putting back the gleaming, beautiful old chestnut floorboards board by board. There are 74 rows of boards, and each row may have up to four boards in it, though there are some impressive 15-foot lengths among them.
This job doesn’t go as smoothly as laying down new flooring would, because these boards are reshaped with age and with the banging around they got when they were being taken up over the summer. Plus, getting around in the house is a real hassle because the wall boards also have been down and are going back up into place slowly.
I couldn’t face decorating for Christmas when the house was in upheaval with construction. There wasn’t even any place to put a Christmas tree, and we always have had two, one in front of the window on each side of the front door.
But it was my teenaged daughter telling me we shouldn’t bother decorating for Christmas this year because it seemed not worth the difficulty that really lit a fire under my butt. Something had to happen, and fast.
Two weeks before Christmas became my deadline for finishing the floor. Then I became adaptable: Just as long as we could make a little bit of floor space, we could put our Christmas trees.
We were two weeks late in decorating, but finally, we went to the tree lot, where this time we got the two smallest trees they had. One was put in the living room, which is crowded also with the dining room furniture. The other was put in the dining room, where the floor is being replaced. The tree sits on the 3-foot section that has been finished. As we move boards into the room, we have to be careful not to bump any ornaments off the tree with them, and as we cut, some sawdust floats up onto our tinsel.
But we did it. It’s not lavish like it normally is, but we’ve maintained the minimum of our standards.
I almost didn’t bother putting away the tubs that we had left out. Why go through the trouble of moving the furniture to get to the crawlspace access door, then crawling around on my knees, when I’ll just have to get them back out in a few days anyway?
Standards, standards. Must maintain the standards.
And now that we are on the weekend of Christmas, it was all worth it.