OK, not good planning on my part to take a trip and not get home until New Year’s Eve. This meant that I put off taking the Christmas down until today. It was a productive if not exhausting day and I finally just gave up with the dining room still in need of being desparkled and unfestooned.

The big decision was that we retired our current Christmas tree. The number of broken branches, burnt out lights and dropped needles made me say let’s just get a new one. The good news is it means that it did not have to get bagged in its seven coffin sized bags and brought up to the attic. The bad news is I tried to remove a bunch of strands of lights I had added over the years. Our tree originally came with 1,200 lights which was a totally inadequate amount of lights. So over the years I have added at least 11,000 lights.

Retiring the tree also meant we just pushed it over on its side to take it apart. That saved Russ’ back at least.

After pulling off lights from the top four sections I gave up. Now I have four huge light tangle balls. Separating these balls will be a big job for tomorrow. I am going to have to find a new series to binge while I do that.

First I have to finish the undecorating and the cleaning that goes along with it. Despite regular dusting, Christmas creates more need for deep cleaning than any other time of year. Russ filled the shop vac with needles and I still need to vacuum the whole place again.

It’s not been the most fun way to start a new decade, but at least it was a productive one. All this work kept me from thinking about being hungry or having a no-sugar headache. Yes, the regular personal cleaning of holiday reverie began today too.

Welcome to the season of dull, dark and sparkle-less. Puritanical month has begun.

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