I can’t believe that the season of perpetual bliss has kissed us goodbye and that the season won’t return for yet another 365 days. Suddenly my heart moans, “I Miss Christmas” but maybe not for a good reason, rather the clean-up that I am stuck with. Really, this part of the season to me is the most miserable, and while nothing feels better than a clean house, I am quite tired from all the party! Coming, going, wrapping, changing clothes, attending functions, hockey matches, birthday parties, shopping, running in and running out have created quite the messy beautiful piles that sit in my home. Don’t judge me, because most of us are the same way, we have been using our house as merely a sleep tank and we have done nothing but go from the minute we wake up. I am dreading hauling all the totes back out, packing up the holiday decor and then seeing the lovely dust bunnies that seem to just multiply with each passing day! My other less than fun take-down; the Christmas Tree, as this thing just does nothing but drop 100’s of needles with each passing hour. We have taken fine care of our tree, watering it daily, and it even had its sugar added to the water, but it is time to go. The fragrant smell of the tree is going to be missed, but the mess not so much! Here’s how we lavishly say good by to our Christmas Tree each year.
The Bows, The Trim and The Angel Topper – Christmas Tree
First things first, the last things to go on the tree are the first to come off and that includes the angel at the top and of course all the tinsel, bows and popcorn strands. This takes a while because our kitty has somehow tangled a few ornaments into a few strands of tinsel so we take caution not to TUG and break anything! We toss out the popcorn(don’t want ants coming around from storing food) and then I carefully nestle the bows away in their own container.
The Ornaments & Saying Good Bye TO The Christmas Tree
First things first, it’s time for the ornaments and candy canes to come down. Of course my kids love this job because one by one they devour whatever canes are left. The ornaments have to each be hand-packed one-by-one with love as these are collected from years gone by and simply are not replaceable. Before each one goes into its individual crate, my husband and inspect them for breaks, or necessary repairs and if they are fine we pack them or they go on the repair table(oh, and this can take us forever to get to!)
The Lights Must Come Off
Every year it would seem that there is just that one light in the strand that gives us a bit of a problem. A few years ago I went to our local warehouse club and bought new lights, the old-fashioned bigger bulbs and I love the results so taking the lights down is not as task-efforty as before. Now the lights wrap around this cylindrical wrap that they came off of and it is quite easy. We never tug, we take care to not rip the cord, or strip the tree of more needles than necessary. Before we start, we unplug the lights from the wall and we make sure they are no longer plugged into each other as well. Storage of lights is important so we make sure they are in a dry, cooler area and easily accessible for next year’s tree!
Prepping the Tree for Removal
This is such a messy task and I don’t care how many years we have done it for, it drives me crazy as it is a mess from beginning to end. Drag those vaccumm cleaners out, the brooms, and a towel and don’t forget to bring your balance because a steady hand is needed to drain that pan that the tree sat in. Once the ornaments are stripped and the tree is free and clear of everything, my husband undoes the tree bolts attached at the base. I hold the tree(with gloves on, I don’t want sap fingers) and he asks me to pick it up while he slides the pan that holds the water away. Then he immediately slides a dry towel(rag) around the base so that there is no dripping across the floor on the way out. Some people use bags and that works as well, however, no matter what you do needles will fall! Once the tree is out of the house my cleaning party begins, as I vacuum up the needles(and then smell the fragrance in the canisters of the vac as they turn round like a tornado) and then I scour out the pan that the tree has sat in and prepare it for use next year!
The Christmas Tree
There are several options when it comes to the live tree and the take down. First, in our neighborhood and many others across the USA there are recycle trucks that come around on a particular day for TREES only. They take the trees all that day and then they turn them into mulch, making disposal easy, your job, getting that sucker to the curb! Make sure you use gloves so that your hands don’t become sap-laden. Other options include taking the tree outside and having your own bonfire, cutting it into pieces and having a fun get together(we have done this many times before). I do offer a word of caution on this, make sure the tree is completely stripped of ornaments, lights, etc. so that nothing ‘explodes’ in the fire. Some communities offer recycling at their local borough buildings you just have to haul your tree there and they take care of the rest, and of course there is the traditional, non-recycle event that happens all over the USA where you just haul the tree to the curb.
Lavishly live the end of the holiday when you recycle, clean and pack away those most coveted trinkets for the next season! While I can’t believe all the hype has ended we have no begun a new year! Have a blessed New Year and may it be fabulous!