Down With Decorations!

Down With Decorations!

The thing about achieving a personal record is that almost immediately after I do so, panic sets in that this may be the best I ever do. Sure, I could work harder, keep pushing, but what if 22 hours really IS the shortest amount of time I can leave up my holiday decorations?

My husband is the Decorator of the House. If you visit and tell me that my home is lovely, I will tell you honestly that I had very little to do with it. I’m totally fine with blank walls and empty shelves, but for some reason my husband likes the house to look like people actually live in it. He puts up the candles and the framed pictures of our kid. I contributed my mother’s urn on the mantle, but is she really décor? I don’t know. Maybe.

Every year I begrudgingly participate in the holiday decorating. The only thing I hate more than year-round ornamentation of the home is the seasonal ornamentation of the home. I am a busy woman and I resent having to spend time putting up shit that I will just have to take down soon thereafter. Don’t even get me started on how I have to go outside to decorate for Halloween. (I flat out refuse to decorate outdoors for Christmas. It snows in December. That’s enough fancy for me.)

Yes, sure, I do it to see the smile on my kid’s face. But let’s face it, he also smiles if I give him five bucks or an ice cream cone. Also? I cook him dinner and wash his clothes and stuff so that really should be enough.

In 2013, my husband had to travel for work in the week preceding Easter. Still weary from the Christmas decorations I’d packed up the first week in January, I kept putting off pulling out the Easter crap. It might have been mentioned as something we should do but I probably pretended to agree while silently hoping it wouldn’t be brought up again.

The problem with that was the house was totally undecorated, the kid noticed and here it was Saturday night before the big day and I felt the pressure. After my son went to bed, I sat down with my Domino’s pizza (and breadsticks) and filled plastic eggs with candy and loose change. And then I put up the decorations. Not many, but some.

“Who decorated?” Nathan exclaimed with glee on Sunday morning as we got ready to retrieve his father from his red-eye flight home.

“The bunny must have done it. I’m sure he knows how Mommy feels about decorating,” I replied, quite proud of myself for my selfless act of decorating AND my clever idea who to blame it on.

The next year, Kris was away again the same week and the bunny decorated the night before. I didn’t even pretend those decorations were going up early. I had started a new tradition where I didn’t have to look at pastel nonsense all over my house for the weeks before Easter and I had no intention of going back to the old way. Frankly, it was bad enough I’d have to look at it for at least a week before I got around to putting it all back in the basement for another year. Nathan noticed, but he wasn’t as elated over it as he was the year before.

This year, Kris was home. We figure we’ve got one or two years more at best where this kid believes in a decorating and egg-hiding rabbit who comes into our house while we’re asleep, so on Saturday night we put up the damn decorations. It took all of three minutes and then we sat down to catch up on The Walking Dead, which, oddly enough, was less creepy than the quilted rabbit wall hanging out in the foyer.

When Nathan got up and collected the eggs, he was really pleased with the chocolate. You know what he did not care about? The decorations.

“Hey, Nate, you don’t care if I put this Easter stuff away, do you?” I asked, already pulling stuff down.

“Nope,” he said, stuffing his face with more chocolate.

By 6pm, I’d packed up the basket and errant pieces of plastic grass, the eggs and the quilted rabbit. I’m not sure I can do any better next year, but with training and perseverance, I can give it my best shot.

And really, isn’t that all anyone can ask of me?

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22 Responses to “Down With Decorations!”

  1. Anna says:

    22 hours, nicely done. This year I have already put away the Passover decorations … even though the holiday isn’t over until this Saturday.

  2. I don’t decorate. Peter talked me into buying an artificial Christmas tree this year, but I in turn convinced him that Philip would certainly have it demolished in no time. We didn’t even take it out of the box.

    • michellelongo says:

      That sounds like you make the right choice. For me, it’s just a really bad case of being apathetic and lazy.

  3. Carol says:

    I love Christmas decorating, but for other holidays, I’m with you. Ugh.

    My proudest (or saddest?) decorating year: the time when our Santa pumpkins were still in the window at Easter… We never got around to carving or decorating the pumpkins at Halloween, and they sat in the kitchen window through the fall. Then when it came time to decorate for Christmas, the girls and I decided to paint Santas on them. When Christmas came and went, I became quite curious about how long they could sit there without rotting. When Easter came, they were still fine – though I disposed of them shortly after anyway.

    Guess I won’t ever beat your 22 hour record. :)

    • michellelongo says:

      I almost feel bad that I find very little joy in decorating, especially for Christmas, and I really do try to find the joy, but it just never pans out. I love that you decorated the pumpkins. It’s perfect.

  4. saroful says:

    Can you come take my Christmas tree down?

  5. I am so with you. Decorations on my house make me crazy, and every December when I drive around my neighborhood looking at everyone’s house decked out for Christmas all I can think about is how long it takes them to put up and take down all those lights and wreaths and things, and how grateful I feel to be Jewish and not have to deal with it. And decorating for Passover and Chanukah? Forget about it. Not in my house.

    • michellelongo says:

      It really doesn’t seem like a good use of time. I’m not a holiday-y person to begin with and the decorating is just too much. Plus, if I have any free time, I really don’t want to spend it messing with stupid lights. Someday I will live a decoration free life…

  6. Jennifer G. Knoblock says:

    Yes. Thank goodness the kids are old enough to understand that the candy is really the thing. This year they went to the store with me and picked their own candy ON SALE after Easter. Win.

  7. Stacie says:

    We didn’t even do Easter baskets this year. I gave all of that stuff away before we moved. I feel compelled to decorate at Christmas but otherwise I don’t.

  8. Nathan James says:

    I’ve narrowed our decorations for non-Christmas holidays to just a few special things. My grandmother’s easter basket, the Halloween ghost mobile I made in kindergarten, that sort of thing. Then I decided to store them all in a bright green tub so I can find them fast. I’ve found that the decorations come out consistently now.

    • michellelongo says:

      I think narrowing them down is important. I have nothing significant from my past, so that could be part of it. With Christmas we have things of our kid’s that are special and I enjoy seeing, but I kept nothing from my childhood. I think that lack of sentimentality changes how I view the holidays.

  9. Nancy Lowell says:

    My kind of decorating schedule! (I never decorate for holidays, I’m with you on this!).

  10. Asha says:

    I love your sardonic style! And what a relief that Nathan is now at an age where he doesn’t care if the house is decorated or not. It’s all about those chocolates!

    • michellelongo says:

      Thanks, Asha! I’m sure someday I’ll miss the boy who believed in Santa and the Easter Bunny, but I hope the lack of responsibility over these things fills that void :)

  11. dowbiggin says:

    I have two favorite lines:
    “I contributed my mother’s urn on the mantle, but is she really décor? I don’t know. Maybe.”
    (Your Mom would even laugh at this, I am certain.)
    “I resent having to spend time putting up shit that I will just have to take down soon thereafter.”

    I am going to make you feel better. We just don’t even DO Easter anymore. No eggs. No decor. No candy. No pagan symbolism. I am still big about Christmas, but we shall see, now that we have moved to an apartment, how I feel about that come December. I do decorate my office at work a bit for Christmas. But I really do love Christmas.

    • michellelongo says:

      I’m pretty sure my mother would have laughed at that line too :)

      I think we all adapt to the parts of holidays that are most important to us. I just can’t decorating ever being high on that list!

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