Every year in November after Thanksgiving, the Scissors & Drumsticks household jumps into the Christmas Spirit by climbing into the attic (where we keep seasonal items only), and dragging out our various trinkets, decorations, and lights. Scissors loves the Winter Holidays so much that this year we decorated immediately after Halloween. The sounds of Christmas Carols, sleigh bells, and chatter of our kids along with the aromas of hot cider, hot chocolate, and fresh baked cookies thicken the air signifying Christmas is indeed on its way.
However, each year prior we receive a few gifts which happen to be Christmas decorations and Scissors likes to take advantage of after Christmas sales many stores offer up as a means to clear their stock and shelves of goods that will be ineveitably hard to sell after the season has eneded. We open the plastic storage totes and get to rummaging in an orchestrated and reminiscent fashion allowing the excitement to build upon our Christmas Spirit. Scissors gets giddy to say the least.
We set up the tree and the kids start unpacking all the sorts of ornaments we have as most are of sentimental value because they were either made by them, passed down from a family member, or given to us from another family. There’s the “remember this?, I made that in kindergarten” and many other insightful memories that come alive when unpacking these gems. Scissors gets moving around the house swapping out our everyday deco. for the sleigh and bell laden holiday decorations. After all is said and done, there are always extra items left over as we put the new ones in service while the older non-sentimental items take the back seat.
Our emptied totes get moved back into the garage to await the seasons end to be filled back up with their belongings. It is at this point where we make the decision to keep the un-used items or give them away. We pass on a few things to a neighbor or two if Scissors thinks it fits in their repertoire of annual decorations or we donate them to a charity store of sorts knowing that someone is looking for an inexpensive item to brighten their home during the holiday.
We take great pride in not keeping too much in excess, especially when it comes to storing “stuff.” We know quite a few folks who have their attics cram packed with things they have owned for years yet never take them out to enjoy them. We see it this way. If you aren’t physically enjoying it now, why hold onto it for later? Don’t get me wrong, we do hold a few things here and there for family members who have a child a year or so younger than ours so as to pass them down so they won’t have to spend the money on these items. We also enjoy the reciprocal of such practices being careful not to overload ourselves with things we may never use. We have two attics in our home. The largest of the two is over the main house which we don’t use anymore. The smallest is over the garage which is not a full attic by any means due to the partial room over the garage, but just enough room to hold seasonal interior and exterior decorative items as well as seasonal outdoor items like hunting and camping gear. This is also where we keep the few items being held over for the family member.
Oddly enough, we never have been pack rats and this is one area of our lifestyle that has gone unchanged for the sixteen years we have been together. I have looked at this practice of ours and see no need in changing it as it works well without any overflow or resistance to getting rid of anything. There are a lot of folks in the world who clutter their living spaces with what they claim to be worldly possessions. I guess the “out of sight,out of mind” comes into play at this point. Maybe it’s because I’m lazy and don’t want to mess with all that stuff . We have owned two homes and never once balked at a potential buy for the lack of storage space. I don’t think the question was ever mentioned by either one of us.
Although we have packed away all our Christmas furnishings, some folks may still be holding onto the Jolly Old Saint Nick fever for a little while longer. When you decide to strip your home of the giving season, take a step back, look at your inventory and really ponder what is useful and what is not. Maybe another family can use some of the items that are plentiful in your home. Take them down, reminisce, take a mental picture of the item and remember the enjoyment it has given you and pass it along to another person or family member. They will truly cherish it for the years to come.
-Kevin “Drumsticks” Gilkes
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