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All The Little Christmas-es

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 8:11 PM
Happy January 6th. In case you didn’t know it, it’s a big day around the world. For many, it’s Epiphany. It’s the Ukrainian and Armenian Christmas. It is also the birthday of Haile Selassie who is the Messiah of the Rastafarian religion.
In Ireland, January 6th is both known as Little Christmas and Women’s Christmas. It is the last day of Christmas holidays for children and as Women’s Christmas, it’s a day when men take over all household chores and give women the day off. Friends of mine from Cork tell me that the bars are full of women out for a good time. Then on January 7th, the tree is taken down and Christmas is officially over.
I’m looking at my tree and heaving a ponderous sigh. While our tree is not a big tree, there are a lot of decorations on it and all must be put away the right way, my way. You see, I’m not obsessive about many things except keeping CDs and DVDs in alphabetical order (I am a librarian after all) and putting away Christmas decorations so that they don’t get scratched and are easy to put up the following year. This is why I very uncharacteristically ask for no help when undoing the Christmas tree. I don’t want to have to explain and defend my methods. I just want to get the job done right with as little havoc and destruction as possible.
Putting up the tree is usually festive with the soundtrack for the Charlie Brown Christmas show wailing away in the background and family members finding prominent places on the tree for their favourite ornaments. Taking down the tree is definitely a time for blues. You don’t want something too depressing, for example, an old Leonard Cohen album might make you feel positively suicidal considering the fact that you may not have seen sunlight for weeks and that your body is dehydrated from all the beer, wine and/or champagne that you’ve been swilling as opposed to good, healthy water. No, you want something a little bluesy but upbeat – maybe some B. B. King or Bonnie Raitt.
Then once the right music is selected, all the boxes for the Christmas glass balls come out with their appropriate lids placed underneath. Then the glass balls are removed first so that they don’t break while every thing else comes down. These boxes go at the bottom of a big carton because next year, the glass balls will be the last thing to go up. Then all the ornaments go in plastic bags and are twist tied shut. The strings of beads that I use for garlands go in sealed sandwich bags and are placed on top of the ornaments. Then the stockings and room ornaments go on top of those in the big box because those will be the first to go up next Christmas a good two weeks before the tree.
Finally, the lights are wrapped around these nifty plastic thingies that we bought that are specifically for keeping Christmas lights from getting tangled and knotted. These are a good invention, folks, go out and buy extras as the amount of grief that they have saved us over the years is enormous.
Now, Christmas is over and the long, dark night of the soul, January and February, have begun. With that in mind, I break three different New Year’s resolutions and crack open a Guinness. Happy New Year.

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