Today I packed away all the Christmas stuff (a few days late, but Epiphany came at an awkward time).
For the first ten years or so of married life, my "clearing up after Christmas" routine has consisted of hurling everything into one of those striped carry bags, chucking it in the shed without looking, and hoping for the best. This has of course led to my collection of Christmas angels being chipped and de-winged, and spiders making a home in my nativity scenes. Not good. I also had to buy new Christmas stuff each year to replace the unloved ruined stuff.
So, two years ago, I was inspired by one of those OCD cleaning blogs I torture myself with to Do Things Differently.
I went out and bought myself a few packets of tissue paper, I kept the little gift baggies that people are increasingly using rather than wrapping things, and I kept all of the boxes that things came in. I also bought a huge bin that everything would fit in. I wrapped, packed, padded and folded everything up, and it all fitted in the big bin, and with a smug sigh, I popped it in its new spider free home into the shed. This year when it came time to put up the Christmas decorations, out came the bin, and we all had fun unwrapping and decorating, and everything was in pristine condition. All the lights were fine, and nothing was broken. It was revolutionary!
The only thing that didn't work was those little chains of plasticky stuff with bells on. They always tangle and this year was no exception. So I got smart when I packed away today. I grabbed sturdy Christmas cards, and I wrapped those nasty chains around the cards, and popped them in a Christmas stocking for storage. So next year I will report whether or not it worked and those pesky chains were tangle free.
Oh, and here is the Christmas star we used this year. Clare made it for us.