The Christmas holidays usually end on Jan. 1 at our house.
That's when wifey Linda normally takes all the decorations off the tree, carefully packs them up in boxes and I place them in the attic awaiting the next time.
My job prior to Christmas is getting our plastic tree out, putting it up and making sure the lights are working.
Then I get out of the way. I don't like to decorate. Linda does. I have never had to take things off the tree.
On the day after Thanksgiving, she, along with our two sons, daughters-in-law and six grandchildren begin making the tree look festive.
Our sons have numerous homemade decorations from years past, made at school and daycare, that they and their children put on the tree.
And then all the other balls, icicles and myriad of treasures collected over the years are added.
But the routine after the holidays changed this year.
With wifey having a stroke on Good Friday back in April, the task of taking decorations off the tree fell on me. And it wasn't on Jan. 1, it was two weeks later.
I started out rather fretful. There were hundreds of ornaments.
My, my, what a task!
And then I began, and before long I had to get my camera out.
There was the cable car ornament from San Francisco. The cones gathered from under the giant trees in California more than 30 years ago.
The plastic toy of a ship to remind me of our cruise to Alaska. And the "Mouth of Truth" from our visit to Rome. There were many others.
And then the small replica of the Eiffel Tower, a reminder of a very enjoyable trip to Paris.
All of a sudden the chore turned into a joy -- memories came flooding back adding the final gift to the holiday season.
Next post: Jan. 31, 2012