I actually decorated a bit early this year, as we had our big Thanksgiving dinner at the last Saturday of November and I wanted the house festive for the party. So, all the house decorations were up before December had even started. We put our tree up in mid-December and while I was decorating it, I separated out all of the ornaments that belonged to Martin and Karin (not as easy as you might think). Both my mom and I have given each of the kids a tree ornament pretty much every year of their lives so they both have a about 40 to start their own decorations with. I mailed two boxes of ornaments to Martin and Karin took hers to decorate the little tree in her temporary apartment with.
While I was hanging ornaments on the tree, I also removed ones that, for one reason or another, I had never used, or decided now that I didn't love enough to keep. I gave the kids first dibs but the rest will be going to the Flyinge flea market in the summer. This weekend, I took down the decorations, packing up the tree ornaments and covering the dining room table with all the "house" decorations, and then I did the same thing: packing only the ones that I really love.
Of the six moving boxes of Christmas decorations and ornaments, I managed to empty one and a half completely, which I think is a good start. I plan to try and do the same thing every year...and also squash the impulse to buy new decorations since there is a part of me that is very drawn to glitter and shiny gold and red stuff. I even went through all the things that the kids had made when they were small, adding to their personal piles but keeping a few that made me smile the most.
It feels good to have the house back in order, cleaned and vacuumed. All the paintings are back on the walls and I can enjoy the return to normalcy that packing away Christmas brings. There are no public holidays in Sweden until Easter week, which means we don't have any days off until April 9 (Good Friday). That's 2.5 months of solid work weeks. Because I worked about 3 days worth total over the Christmas holidays, I'm thinking I'll take a couple of Fridays during the "ox weeks" as they're called to give myself some mental health days that I suspect will be much needed. Maybe one at the end of each month until April.
It's Sunday evening, a few hours still to go until bedtime. I've already eaten dinner, and watched some TV and finished one book and started another. It's pitch black outside, and it feels much later than it actually is. I am SO looking forward to more light; the weather has been dreary: rain every day for what seems ages, and the constant cloud cover doesn't help with the darkness. Good thing we still have the advent lights and stars up in the windows...they'll stay up until the end of January to combat the dark!