The Post-Christmas Purge

On December 26, Christmas must come down in my house. That’s just how it has to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the holiday season–the spirit and festiveness. I love the coziness of curling up on the couch as our Christmas tree glows in the corner, and everything about putting up the decorations for Christmas gets me in a great mood.

It’s just that on the day after the holiday, I can’t stand the sight of any of it, anymore. And I don’t have a specific reason why, except to say that all that garland and glitter and ribbon just starts to be one room-by-room reminder that there is a GIANT task ahead of me in taking it down. And if there’s something I can’t stand, it’s putting off the inevitable.

So that’s why, the day after Christmas, we rallied our tiny troops, heated up day-old French toast casserole for breakfast, and made hay as we took ALL that crap down, in one fell—four-hour long—swoop.

And t it was that morning’s activity that I blame for what came next. All that moving and Removing got my engine revved, and I couldn’t stop. I was like Jessie Spano after she took her caffine pills. I went on a purging RAMPAGE.

I tore into my daughter’s closet, took out all her baby clothes and folded and arranged them for the new baby. I delicately packed away all her memorabilia that I want to save and stored it in pretty boxes. I rearranged the toys in the playroom. And I was about to start in on my son’s room when it happened. I sat down on the floor and cried. Sobbed, actually. I think the words that came out of my mouth were, “I just have so much to DOOOOOO!” It was my rendition of the “Ugly Cry.”

It was then that my dear, sweet 2-year-old girl, who has no frame of reference for this sort of Unexplained Crazy, immediately padded over to me and said, “Mommy’s crying!” My husband, bless his weary soul, has seen this play out a time or ten since we started procreating, so he knew not to push it too far, and sat back as the toddler did the comforting.

I know, I know. #firstworldproblems. And also, major, MAJOR #hormones.

And I’m laughing now, because, well, it’s ridiculous in hindsight, BUT it did reveal something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately—streamlining my life. I just want to get rid of the clutter. And I’m not the only one who seems to be undergoing this sort of revelation. The philosophy behind Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has swept (pardon the pun) the world. Friends on social media are talking about the joys of purging belongings. Tiny Homes are even a thing these days, with people more content living in 300 square feet of space rather than 3000.

So in the new year, I am taking on a new title. “Aspiring Minimalist.” I don’t want an organizer; I want a MINIMIZER. There’s got to be a way to live simpler. To open up a little more space in my mind by cleaning up my environment. I know it’s possible; I just don’t know how to start.

Anybody have Marie Kondo’s direct line? Until then, you will find me under the pile of toddler clothes and Thomas trains in my son’s room. If you can’t see me, listen for the unexplained weeping.

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