The Christmas cookies are a memory, we've stopped getting late cards, and the boughs on the mantel are so dry and shriveled that they look more appropriate for Halloween. It's time to take down the tree and other decorations, put away the last presents, and try to figure out what there is to enjoy about January beyond Downton Abbey and the post-holiday sales. If you come up with anything, let me know.
Taking down the tree is such a melancholy chore. Since I wrapped all the ornaments as tightly onto the branches as I could, to prevent theft, getting them off is going to be a nightmare. I'll probably use my pruners to clip them off, and then sit down to unravel all the cords from the dead branches.
I will miss the colored lights on our bedroom mantel. They made pretty reflections: we had a huge pink "jellyfish" on the ceiling this year along with some dark blue clouds.
I hope we'll have another mantel to decorate in whatever new bedroom we find ourselves in next December. But that's unlikely; a bedroom fireplace is a rare find. We never used ours but I still loved having it as the handsome focal point of the room. It's hard to imagine moving to a new place that didn't have a single fireplace but that may be my fate. I'd have one in every room if I had my way.
For some reason, the cats stay off this mantel so I have kept my silver collection and glass paperweights there safely. No one has broken my five-armed pewter candelabra. Yet. My silver-plated triple pair in the living room are another story. They used to be five-armed until I had to perform emergency amputations after a couple of "accidents."
I have two of beloved sugared-fruit topiary trees. I had the other one on a small table in the living room until my husband watched Harris grab it by the pear at the top and try to drag it away. It survived but it's in a safer spot now. That Harris.
The wreaths above the bed and in the living room will linger for a while, as will a couple of other items — things I will forget to put away until I come upon them days or weeks from now. It happens every year. And we still have a good supply of peppermint bark and Lindt candy-cane truffles to help us keep Christmas on our hips if not in our hearts, which is as Dickensian as I'm going to get right now.