Cleaning & Decorating, one I dread the other I love. No need to guess which, I’ll be happy to tell you.
Cleaning and decorating used to involve a can of Pledge, an old rag and a vacuum followed by a few foil doo-dads in the windows and a string on which to hang cards. (Other than the tree, of course)
Now, however, it’s a more complicated than that. For one thing, now there’s a full house to clean and decorate, not just an apartment. Also, I think we tend now to decorate EVERY room whereas it was just the main room (living room) which was decorated in “the olden days”. Every nook and cranny gets a sprig of holly, a candle, a snowman figurine or snowflake. I have a mantle and a wall unit top to decorate. I have amassed a collection of Santa figures, angels & snowmen and I spend time arranging (and often re-arranging, as in “what was I thinking putting this Santa holding a wreath next to another Santa with a wreath?”) the collection for several days. I delight in opening the large plastic bin clearly marked SANTAS and removing the tissue paper from the treasures I’ve collected over the years. Some are gifts from my mom, some are prizes from ornament parties I’ve been to, but most are just cute Santa or snowmen figures that I’ve picked up at various craft venues since I lived in Arizona (more than a couple dozen years ago). There’s a bell shaped Santa with “Merry Christmas” written in Polish across his belly. This came from my grandmother’s Christmas decor stash and makes her a part of my holiday even though she’s been gone for over 30 years.
There’s the wall in the living room that I hang plaques on. I remove the apple & pumpkin ones and put up snowflakes and santas and stars. Up the stepladder, down the stepladder. Be careful not to fall…that’s important. Right now I’m still looking for the plaque bin in the garage. No luck yet.
There’s also cleaning and decorating and baking in the kitchen. While I’m doing the living room. And watching Christmas movies. Or singing along with the digital music channel. It’s hard to be sure which I’ll be doing at any given time. It isn’t pretty in there… yet.
But seeing all my figures of Santa checking his list or the music box nativity that mom and I lovingly call “Gloria” after the banner held by the angel that goes on the top of the Manger. [For a few years, she was always falling off. “Oh look,” I’d say when I opened the box it was stored in, “Gloria’s broken again.” And there would be the angel with the worn down green paint and her banner proclaiming “Gloria” in one hand and a musical nativity in the other.] Whether it’s moving furniture to vacuum behind or unearthing another bin of treasures, Cleaning and Decorating are two vital parts of the holiday season for me.
And I haven’t even thought about outside yet!