Packing away Christmas

Published 12:06 am Saturday, December 31, 2011

When I started pulling out ornaments and other Christmas decorations this year, I realized I could probably get by with fewer storage containers if I packed more carefully. After I gathered everything that I needed, I actually eliminated a medium-sized trunk that took up a lot of room. During the last few years I had jammed it and another just like it in a roomy closet in our little library. The closet contained a generous amount of shelves where I stored various items, including boxes containing a beautiful ceramic nativity set my mother had made. I had other decorations stored here and there in the house. Rounding that stuff up every year was like going on a treasure hunt. It was definitely time to get them all in one place. I hoped that they would fit in the closet.

As it often happens when I get started on one project, it leads me to something else. I decided there was enough room in that closet to add a set of shelves. I wanted them to hold some storage boxes stacked behind the love seat in the library. They definitely detracted from the inviting and cozy atmosphere we had intended for the room when we had it converted from an attached garage.

When our son arrived for Christmas, he asked me what he could do for me. I suggested the addition of more shelves in the closet. Instead, he thought a better idea was to shift a few items on the existing shelves. Then he would put said boxes on the shelves for me. He loaded three of the boxes on the first shelf which had a row of clothes hanging below it. Just as he reached to place a box on the shelf above it, the first one collapsed. One of the boxes barely missed him as it tumbled to the floor. The clothes fell in a heap. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work. I took the downed clothing to a bedroom closet. We headed for the store.

Back home, we gathered a tape measure and a few more tools from my in-house tool box. The rest of the family lounged in the living room and watched television. My son retreated to the library, opened the box, spread everything on the floor, and set to work. While the assembly would have been a challenge to me, I thought he handled it in record time. Soon he had the shelves placed and all the boxes stacked neatly on the shelves.

After that worked out so well, we decided a second set of shelves for the closet wasn’t a bad idea. Trouble was we got busy the next day; we never made it back to the store. Now it’s time to take down the tree and all the other decorations. I’ll be packing them very carefully, hoping that my frenzy in storing all those boxes hasn’t crowded out room for my Christmas decorations.