Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Operation Merry Fishtank

'Tis the season. I know this evokes lots of strong opinions. Some of you are horrified. "It's not even Thanksgiving yet, woman!" Others of you are seeing me as a kindred holiday spirit. Among those in the know, it is no secret that I am in the beginning stages of decorating for Christmas. The wreath isn't hung yet and we do a real tree, so that won't go up for awhile, but the groundwork is currently being laid for these things to happen. Here's how this process used to go a few years ago:

I would eagerly await the day after Thanksgiving so that I could start getting my decorations out. However, I am a social lemming, so I would never actually do this on Black Friday. I was at the malls. So, it waited until the day after the day after Thanksgiving. Which is always a huge football day, and we were too busy eating nachos and cheering or cursing, depending on the game(s). Then Sunday was here and nothing can ever get done on Sunday. Monday would come after that and the children were back in school and the official holiday maddness and Christmas countdown would officially begin. Maddness, I tell you. Pajama days at school, presents to buy. Cookie exchanges. Parties. Parties. Parties. Somewhere in there, I would start getting the decorations down from the attic. A big box would come down. I would race to get the stuff into it's appropriate place while the kids were occupied with a game or school. All the stuff that was now displaced in the house would get shoved into a closet or nook or cranny, awaiting the end of the maddness and it's return to rightful place on the mantle (or armoire, or side table or hallway wall). Invariably, this pattern would continue right up until the week of Christmas, at which point, I began hauling boxes down in a frenzy, throwing decorations up left and right and feeling guilty all the time that I hadn't done it sooner and that now we only had a short time to enjoy it and that my family didn't have a calm, cool and together mommy at the holiday helm.

None of this was joyful. It wasn't merry. It wasn't worshipful. It wasn't calm or bright.

It was crazy and frantic and all things that I never wanted my Christmas to be about.

So, Clemsongirl and I developed a plan a few weeks ago that I am eagerly and currently implementing. Here's how it works:

Today (yes, TODAY!)- the garage gets de-cluttered. I'm using this term pretty loosely because we are not un-cluttered garage type people. We are not European or South American. Therefore we don't park our cars in the garage. We store things there. So, really, it's a loose organization of the stuff we intend to be there. That loose collection of stuff has been organized (loosely, of course) and things that have been waiting in the launch-pad area to go up to the attic have been put up there. This is all in preparation for...

Friday- Christmas boxes are brought down from the attic and placed in a now cleared out area of the garage we will refer to as the "staging area." They will not be touched. Just brought down. This must be done this day because I will have the morning to myself with no children except Red Fish.

Sunday- Surface decluttering takes place and fall decorations come down. Anything that must be moved to make room for Christmas decor will be moved. Where? Not sure yet. Probably a big ol' box that will also be put in the "staging area." This is to prepare for...

Monday- The Most Wonderful Woman in the World (AKA- my cleaning lady) arrives. She cleans the now uncluttered surfaces and gives the house it's monthly thorough once over (Yes, monthly. Stop judging).

Tuesday- I teach in the morning (saying that still hasn't gotten old). In the afternoon, while Redfish sleeps and prior to school pick-up, I will begin putting up the decorations onto the clean and neat surfaces.

Wednesday- continue process from Tuesday.

Thurs- put empty-ish boxes back into attic. Boxes will have been re-packed with things that were removed to make room.

Friday- Thanksgiving feasts at both schools. Packing for...

Saturday- We leave for SC and will be gone until the Monday after Thanksgiving at which point...

We return to a schedule that will be wild until Christmas and a house that is ready to handle it! Voila! Now, won't it be fun to see how many excuses I can come up with for why this didn't happen as planned?


kelly bee said...

We can't have a real tree because of our trip. The fake one is already up. Ready to be decorated this weekend. Why not enjoy it for longer while the kids are crazy about it. I woke up this morning to hear them standing around it singing "O Christmas Tree" - NOT KIDDING. Doesn't get better.

JW said...

I love this plan.
I'm planning too-- for t-giving.

clemsongirlandthecoach said...

We really are the two smartest human beings on the planet.