There’s no task I dread more than taking down the Christmas tree…
Not only is it a tedious task (and those little needles can be so sharp!), but it’s a definite indication that the holidays are in fact over. All that planning and prep, and woosh, it goes by so fast. I am definitely guilty of not always being good at being in the moment and counting down from one exciting event to the next. I’m guilty of what Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project calls “the arrival fallacy.” The idea that when an event you’ve been looking forward to arrives – Christmas, a vacation, a completion of a project, the end of residency – you will be happier than you are right now. Most of the time, she says, the anticipation is really the enjoyment and most of us are equally as happy (if not less, or somewhat disappointed by the anticlimactic arrival) once the event arrives.
I’ve been trying to keep this in mind as I’ve felt the post Christmas blues, and not let my mind race ahead to the next big thing (which, if you’re wondering, is a vacation in Palm Springs with my family and is 43 days away. Not that I’m counting. Okay, I’m totally counting.)
I tried to take this advice and be in the moment today as I took down the tree, unwrapped the garland, took down all our beautiful photo cards we had received and packed up each ornament back into it’s designated nook in my tupperware bins. I actually started to pay attention to the ornaments as I took them down – something I failed to do in the hustle and bustle of putting the tree up. Most of our ornaments aren’t random – they were either my own or Matt’s from childhood, or ones we’ve acquired together, or gifts we’ve been given. Here are a few of my favorites…
Given to me by a coworker at Wake
Given to me this year by Anne… I love the vintage look of it and of course, what it symbolizes.
Given to me by a grad school friend the year the Red Sox won the World Series (2004)
Given to us by Kate last year…symbolic of our tacky sweater Christmas parties
I have a bunch of these, given to me by my parents last year. We are a Wake Forest loving family!
I know it sounds kind of silly, but paying attention to each ornament as I took it down and remembering where it came from or who gave it to me made the process a little bit more enjoyable. Less chore like, more like a nostalgia-fest …. and I do love me some nostalgia. I can’t say that I carried that mindset perfectly into the next couple hours of de-Christmas-ing my house, but it’s definitely something I am trying to be more mindful of this year.
Less post-something-blues, and more right-here-right-now-contentment.