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Deck the Halls with Cardboard and Construction Debris

Deck the Halls with Cardboard and Construction Debris

December 7, 2007

This week we brought all of our Christmas bins filled with decorations down from the attic. We went through them all and I am just not feeling the love this year. I am not sure if it just that I am tired of the same old decorations that I use every year or if it is just this Christmas in particular.

Or if I just don’t remember where to put the decorations. I keep pulling things out of the bin and thinking, ‘Huh, where did I used to put this?’

I feel as if time is racing forward so fast that I can’t even keep up, let alone enjoy any of the moments. I still have my autumn decorations outside, including a pumpkin that has frozen, defrosted, and re-frozen so many times that it is all black and gross looking.

My dining room has no furniture in it. We took it all out when our new kitchen cabinets were delivered so they would have somewhere close by the kitchen to be stored. And while I could wrap garland and lights around all the boxes, it really isn’t the look I am going for.

I think I had a point I was going make. But helping my two youngest put on all their snow gear to go outside and play is a lot like trying to wrestle jello into a snowsuit.

Posted by Chris @ 2:51 pm  

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  1. Brigitte says:

    And you know they gotta pee two seconds later.

    Ah, decorations-control. This is why (Grinch that I am) I only decorate the living-room. Any other decorations are strictly forbidden.

  2. Annie says:

    That snowsuit thing would throw me over the edge. Last weekend I was getting bugged by my three about when we’re getting the Christmas tree. I asked them if we could just put up some pegboard and hooks in the shape of a tree and hang the ornaments off of that. My 7 year old demanded to know where my sense of Christmas spirit had gone. “Pipe down Tiny Tim”, I retorted. He pointed his grilled cheese sandwich at me and said he was going to shoot me with his Christmas spirit gun. I feel your pain, but somehow it always seems to pull together. Afterwards you say you’ll start sooner next year, make more time for the fun/meaningful stuff. And so it goes. :)

  3. bombaygirl says:

    My husband brought our christmas boxes in 2 weeks ago, and they are still sitting in the front hall. I looked in, but like you, no love. I seem to have packed a lot of junk last season! Because that is what it looks like. It may be time to go shopping for new xmas decorations…

  4. SM says:

    How about getting your children to make some new decorations? It will be something to keep them occupied. Bet they will all be excited about the new decorations if they handmade it themselves. Lots of love too!

  5. Cary says:

    Hide the super breakables, let the kids decorate, and just drink lots o’ wine. It was that new Rudolph that did it to you.

  6. Christy says:

    I’m not decorating this year…period. All of our decor is still stuffed in boxes all the way back in Arkansas, 800 miles away from us.

    Hope your “spirit” comes back. I can’t imagine it will stay away too long with the house full of kiddos to remind you!

  7. xenia kathryn says:

    Chris says: “I feel as if time is racing forward so fast that I can’t even keep up, let alone enjoy any of the moments.”

    XK says: This is VERY MUCH how I feel!!! I can’t believe it’s already Dec. 7th…!

  8. Michelle says:

    Shoot, I’ve had my bins and boxes of Christmas stuff sitting in the living/dining room since we moved into this house about a month ago, thinking I’d have easy access to what I needed and could get a jump on the Christmas decorating.

    No go. Still sitting there, although I did buy a couple of new things last week, new tree skirt being one of them. I have it mind to buy new ornaments next year and am going to open an account and start saving money strictly for next year’s Christmas, to cover the presents and new decorations and groceries…oy. We’ll see if that plan succeeds, I’m not good with long term goals.

    Here’s hoping that once I get off my duff and get everything up, I’ll be feeling about Christmas for THIS year.

    Merry merry to you and yours!

  9. Sarah says:

    This is totally unrelated….

    I had a dream last night that you were the coach of my softball team. You were really pushing us all to get ready for our big game. Then after practice we drove to work together and on the ride we talked about the other softball team we were on. In real life, and in the dream, I am 41 weeks pregnant.

    Anyway, it made me laugh. :)

    Sarah - long time reader

  10. Valerie says:

    My first time commenting here… I’m with you on time racing forward. I’m doing ok on the shopping, but as far as anything else related to the holiday, I’m in a daze. We had our first snowfall the other day and I’m woefully unprepared. No salt to throw down on the hill at the end of the driveway. Heck, we haven’t even finished clearing the leaves off of it yet! I think the heat wave we had in October lulled me into believing that winter was a lot further into the future than a mere two months.

  11. Beth says:

    I think this holiday malaise is common to a lot of people, but especially women. I blame Martha Stewart. I get this stupid idea in my head that it’s all supposed to be perfect yet effortless and the plain truth is it’s exhausting to pull off a holiday. Men don’t seem to grasp how much goes into Christmas because we women-cum-elves just manage to get it all done. It’s no wonder it’s finally caught up with you and you’re all “Meh.”

    I didn’t put out all my Christmas decorations this year. Most of them, but not all of them. I try to buy something new every year, even if it’s just a few ornaments.

    But I’m with SM: Have your kids make some decorations. They’re always painfully cute and they’ll remind you that Christmas is for kids. That should help snap you back into the spirit.

    And for the love of God, shop online! Click, click, click, and it’s delivered to your door.

  12. Becca says:

    Why is it that the amount of time it takes to wrestle them into their snow clothes is inversely proportional to the amount of time they actually spend in the snow? My toddler–15 minutes to get him ready, and roughly 3 1/2 minutes outside.

  13. annie says:

    I’m with Cary - pack away anything really precious, back off and let the kids have at it while you sit back and get into the spirits. Most likely you will NOT get the “look” you had in mind, but there will be laughs aplenty. OK - maybe not until some distant Christmas Future, but still… Sometimes we just need a break.

  14. Laura says:

    It must be this Christmas in particular. Normally I’m all about the Christmas music from Thanksgiving to January 1, and sometimes even beyond that. I always get the tree and decorations out December 1. I buy all sorts of Christmas goodies and have them around the house in cute little dishes.

    This year, I’m just not feeling it. Maybe buying all my gifts early has worn me out of the Christmas Spirit a little too soon. Bah Humbug!

  15. Heather says:

    A nice new Christmas ornament or two might do the trick. I used to feel beholden to put up ALL the ornaments ever given to me ask a gifts. This year I only put up what made me happy and I didn’t feel a bit of guilt….well, not too much anyway.

  16. Karen Vogel says:

    Yes, time goes on fast-forward somewhere after Halloween every year. Plus, your oldest just turned 13. I read somewhere that once your oldest turns 13, no matter how many younger ones you have, things speed up incredibly and it’s never the same. That could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it!

    I think the boxes would look lovely with some garlands on them.

  17. elizabeth says:

    My mom had decorations for EVERY holiday, for every season - pure overkill. The only holiday I really decorate for is Christmas. So I still love pulling out the decorations - but am no longer fanatic about being the ONLY one that can touch them. I let the kids at them - let them decorate and put things up. It’s the taking down of stuff that makes me a bit ill, as no one wants to help with that…

  18. elizabeth says:

    meant to say “fanatical”! - can I ever NOT make a mistake in comments!? Burying head in snow drift…

  19. cce says:

    I hear you…we can’t even walk through the mudroom for all the boots and gloves and snow gear and last night, after decorating the tree I just wanted to curl up on the floor admist the bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts and weep. Oh the Joys of the season.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    For our tree, I had each kid pick out 10 things and that was it. We have decreased our box volume by about a third over the past few years.

    Chris - keep tabs on that mood as the seasons change.

  21. Heather's Garden says:

    You’ve got a bad case of the Bah Humbugs. It’s the perfectionist in us. If it can’t be done correctly (no dining room furniture, garland on boxes), then why bother. Push yourself. The kids won’t see the flaws, only the fun. Try to split it up into a few days, not get everything done at once. Remember that many hands make light work and the one thing you have around your house is many hands!

  22. All Adither says:

    Well, I think I’m in the minority, but I like all the Christmas crap.

  23. Dot says:

    “Jello in a snowsuit”- that’s the most accurate description I’ve heard! As a first time mom of a 1 year old I’m just entering the wonderful sport of jello-wrangling.

  24. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    I have a new tree bought afew new decorations and all my cards have been written and are waiting to be posted at the appropriate time. I generally only put up a tree and maybe a few decorations on the mirrors. We don’t have children to give us the hurry up. Try however to imagine a Christmas when it is in the high 30 Degrees Centigrade. I’d absolutely love to experience another White Christmas. The one I do remember was way back in 1979 when I was doing Midwifery in Scotland.

    Take Care and hope you all get into the Christmas Spririt.
    Love Carolynn :-)

  25. Donna says:

    You have one up on me! My Christmas stuff is still in there nice little plastic containers upstairs in the attic. If I could manage somehow I would by-pass the whole thing……. Christmas, I think, could be a fabulous holiday if only we could take all of the nonsense out of it. How did we start out with the birth of Jesus and end up with 4:00 am shopping days at deparmtent stores, overspending on gifts for people that dont really need it. BaaaaaaHummmmBuuuuug!!!

  26. tori says:

    I feel the same way. I am feeling a tad bit overwhelmed or spaced out or just not able to focus on everything this year. We did oput up decorations, and everything looks pretty but I just can’t seem to get myself organized. Normally my cards are ready to go by now, and this year I haven’t even gotten them yet. I thought once my kids were a little older it would be easier and less stressful, but what I am finding is that they need so much more attention now than when they were little that I can’t seem to keep up.

  27. Chris says:


    That is just about the funniest thing I have heard. Me as a softball coach and you 41 weeks pregnant playing softball. Too funny.

  28. Kini says:

    I am so with you on this year. I am not feeling the Christmas spirit. I’m feeling rushed and clueless most of the time lately.

    I did, however, dispose of our pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns a week after Halloween!!! Yay! Usually, mine are like yours currently are…black and gross and covered in flies on warm days. *shudder*

  29. Jeanne says:

    Decorate the boxes. Period. I did.

    Last year, my father sent a large box of fresh pistachios to me with instructions to hand out to all my brothers and sisters (all ten!). It was in my foyer - I covered this UPS box with a beautiful Christmas runner. On top of that I put a basket with small boxes of chocolate. Before people left, I gave chocolates and nuts.

    You can decorate those boxes. You are a beautiful artist. I am so lame in that department and I pulled it off. There’s no doubt you can.

    Merry Christmas

  30. Katie says:

    I’m only doing the tree this year. No knick knacks, no lights outside, just the tree. We’re gone from the house the week of Christmas anyways so it seems silly to do so much work for me to do so much work taking it all down again.

  31. Leila & Ben says:

    It’s strange… this year my not-so-into-Christmas-decorating husband wanted to set up the tree in November already! … and I’ve been dragging my heels… sigh. I know what you mean - having 2 kids to constantly dress and undress here in snowy Canada takes some of the fun out of winter.

  32. Tina says:

    I completely understand. I just haven’t been feeling the Christmas Spirit all that much this year.

  33. Ashley says:

    Trying to stuff jello into a snowsuit??? Hmmm…
    I always thought trying to put my youngest in his snowsuit was like trying to stuff a wet noodle up a duck’s butt.

  34. Tiffany says:

    Yanno, you aren’t the first person I’ve “talked” to who is having a hard time getting into the spirit this year. I don’t know what’s going on…..I’ve been battling with it myself. And I’m usually one of those uber-hyped-about-Christmas people who annoys everyone else.

  35. Renee says:

    I have the frozen pumpkin thing going on here, as well. I am right there with you, and then the excited kids just makes it worse. That used to rub off on me, but not any more. Now I feel like I am gutting out the Christmas season, and that makes me sad.

  36. Lori says:

    I think each year Christmas is becoming less enchanting for everyone. But I hope things get better for you.

  37. Nicki says:

    I almost started this identical rant on my blog today but I just couldn’t manage it - I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop! Our issue is our garage which is still not unpacked from our move in March!! And all the Christmas decorations are melted or broken and of course we don’t find that out until we go to hang them. I am just spent. It seems like more effort than its worth today. Christmas decorating isn’t supposed to feel like a hassle, is it? I wish I was rich enough to afford one of those lights guys that are advertised all over my area. I never knew such a service existed until I moved to the south!

  38. Ginny says:

    I feel the same way…I have a Christmas open house in 2 hours (to go to, not host, good lord!) and am sitting here(unshowered) reading you…my husband made the big push and got the outside decorated (although he was a little scroogey doing it)and the live tree is up with the lights and beads. Cue me! Only I’m too busy on the interweb….

  39. karalyn says:

    I have not put up my Christmas Decoration yet. And the “s” was not left off by accident.

  40. jody says:

    For me it was the thought of dragging out the past again. I love so many of our decorations, and all the memories they hold, but was needing something different this year.

    I am still bringing out some of the old stuff….just spiffing it up here and there with a sand dollar or starfish!

  41. OMSH says:

    I know! My kids are all, “Mom are we going to put up a tree this year?”

    And so, TODAY after church we will, but I’m going to have to find the Christmas music fast or I’m going to be all Scrooge on everyone.

    For me, it is that I’ve taken on more than I should have and I’m feeling exhaustion - which seems to outpace Christmas cheer.

  42. Jordana says:

    There’s nothing like construction debris to suck the Christmas spirit right out of you. I want to feel all Christmas-y, but it just isn’t happening.

  43. mbbored says:

    I’m with you on the pumpkin thing. I put this glow-in-the-dark spray foam up on my windows, making all these ghosts for Halloween, that I still haven’t washed off. And since I’m in the middle of a move, there’s no way those Christmas decorations are coming out. Heck, they’re lucky I haven’t pitched them in the trash along with the rest of my belongings.

  44. Tiff says:

    We were just reminiscing last night, as we decorated our tree, about all the different places we have put our tree in this eternal rehab of a house. I distinctly remember a stack of drywall in the middle of the living room one year, I wanted to throw a sheet over it and put the tree on top –Christmastime is perfect for major projects because everybody has more days off work and the extra family makes for a good crew — isn’t this what everybody does at Christmas get togethers!?

  45. reen says:

    I’m having a rough time of it this year too. Because the boxes from last YEAR’s move are still around, and my beloved children have pretty much demolished my furniture and carpets. I’ve put up some decorations but it’s like putting a tiara on a warthog. And the kids and kitten tear them down anyway. Bah.

  46. heather says:

    hi i feel just the same this year, but put christmas lights up all over the place so that it would start to feel christmassy, so far it’s working. Just try to relax and let whatever will be …be.