Being Adult about Christmas and Unpacking is Necessary

Today I had to do grownup things. Things I do not enjoy doing and that exhaust me physically and mentally. I cleaned up some stuff that had been sitting around too long, and the hardest part was taking all the ornaments off my “nature tree,” which is this weird leafless artificial tree we’ve had up in this house since we started building it, even before it was finished. I used to put it in the closet every year, but there is a bunch of padding from Lee’s sleeping arrangements. The really cute lights stopped working a couple of years ago, so it was time to remove it.

Poor nature tree is all naked and about to be peed on by Alfred. I am washing it tomorrow.

Plus, my autumn tree had gotten knocked down by some dogs one time when I was gone (I came home to find it missing, and the ornaments in a bowl…the ones that made it). It was time to do something else.

My plan is to spray paint the tan tree green and put some nice lights on it, then put it up on a table in the family room, so I can put good ornaments on it. I may paint the nonfunctional lights red, to look like berries or something. I hope I am able to do that, anyway. Maybe then I can take down my weird decorated branch that lives in the family room. But, I love that thing, even if people keep turning the lights off.

Strange but beautiful to me.

It becomes clear that I am more of a fan of trees than of Christmas, since these things stay up all year around and have a distinct lack of specifically Christian elements. I respect that religion, but my fondness for Jesus and his acts doesn’t make me what counts as a Christian to most people in the US.

Where was I. Yes, I spent a long time taking down ornaments and dusting them off, then I put the tree outside. I put up the few decorations I can find around the house, so it looks like wintry cheer around here. I’ll spare you photos.

Then I decided that, since I’d made space in the entry, I could put a tree in the entryway, where people could see it driving by and we’d look at least a little American. I went to the dollar store and got an inexpensive white tree and a bunch of lights. First, I could not put the tree on the table I intended to put it on, (which got damaged on the trip between the church and the ranch anyway, sigh) because it would hit the chandelier. Okay, so I can only put unbreakable ornaments on it.

Mandi came over and we were chatting as I put the tree together. It doesn’t look bad, I thought. Then I went to put lights on. Oh, poop. Green light cords do NOT look good on a white tree. So, I just put up all my nature and dog-related unbreakable ornaments. It looks, well, okay.

It will look better with a tree skirt, anyway.

I’m going to order some lights with white cords from Target or somewhere, and they will get here soon. I need a 2021 ornament and my annual Target Christmas globe, too. There, I am decorating for the season of light this year, and doing a much better job than last year, when I simply failed.

I dusted off this little tree I used to use in my office, and I swear it’s the best looking decoration in the house.

I also unpacked two, count them, two boxes from the move. One contained some nice things from my old living room. The other was a mystery! Lee had brought it in when he dragged some things in the last day of the move. I do not recognize the contents. It’s dishes from some grandmother.

Some ironstone and decorated plates. Huh.

The dishes were wrapped in Chicago Tribune issues from 1988, then later wrapped more in Austin American-Statesman paper from 2003. Whose could it be? None of my relatives ever lived in Austin. Nor did anyone else who ever lived in my house, unless maybe Declan’s girlfriend from high school. Well, everyone loves a good mystery.

I now have some plants in the house. I will attempt to keep them alive.

My next unpleasant adult task is to repot the plants that got messed up in the move. I also hate repotting plants. But, these are good ones, so I will do it. And Lee is helping me unpack at least a couple of boxes per week. And some furniture will show up here soon as we have some help and they have time. When does deer season end, anyway?

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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