The Christmas Straggler 2023

We took our Christmas decorations down on New Year’s Day, which is a bit earlier than normal–we’re not hidebound to leaving everything up until Epiphany–and we usually take them down the weekend after New Year’s Day. As it turns out, that holiday was on a Sunday, and it would have seemed weird to have them up for a whole week after that.

This year seemed to take longer, or perhaps it was part of the diminishing experience I have with Christmas as I grow older, but the two hours of untangling lights from trees, boxing ornaments, and moving oh-so-many boxes to the understairs storage area and banging my head on the top of the doorframe 8% of the time, we got everything put away. We have an extra tree this year, handed down from my mother-in-law, who was inspired by my sainted mother’s Christmas tree protocol. At the end of the season, my mother would put a large bag over her fully decorated tree and have me boost it into her attic intact. My mother-in-law would throw a bag over her tree with the lights on it and have one of us carry it to her Spartanly appointed garage. So for most of this year, it was intact in our garage, which Marie Kondo herself with Herculean effort and perhaps a diverted river could only reduce to “extremely cluttered.” Yes, gentle reader, as you can imagine, the garage has more garbage (that is, raw ingredients for crafts from inspirations years past, a little something laid up, underused Nerf guns and unused sporting equipment, and all sorts of tools and yard gear that we use once every couple of years if not only once) than this sentence, the preceding sentence, and perhaps this whole paragraph which has wandered quite afield from its topic sentence.

At any rate, the mother-in-law tree was on our lower level, and the one the kittens played in the most (see also). We didn’t have a box for it, and I battered it into some bags to stuff under the stairs–which has gotten really full as I repackaged some items, which probably means we put underpacked or empty boxes under there).

But, as you know, we often find one Christmas decoration set in an out of the way place, leading to almost annual posts on the topic. But this year, with the kitten protocols in place, we limited our decorations. We didn’t put much breakable out. Mostly, we put up plush or stuffed decorations along with a couple special photos and a couple of pine cone and pine bough things that are in pretty rough shape and that the kittens could probably not damage. So this year, I was pretty sure that we got everything.

Then I sat down to watch a little football.

Friends, that is pretty far afield of where we had the tree.

So even though I was careful to look on the bookshelves next to the tree’s location for ornaments we had picked up and placed on books after the kittens knocked them down, apparently, I was not thorough enough in looking for Christmas ornaments elsewhere.

So I have picked up this ornament and another, but given kittens, it’s entirely possible we’ll find a feline soccer team’s worth of ornaments elsewhere throughout the year.

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