The Jig Is Up

I have been forced into action. My daughter called last night with the news that she is bringing her young man home on February 10 because he wants to meet her father. While I applaud the unusually good manners of said young man, as well as his mother for teaching him such gentlemanly behavior, I am now faced with the prospect of finally taking down ALL of the Christmas decorations. After all, it will be February when they come.

The “winter village” will remain until warm weather necessitates its removal, but the wreaths and nativities (twenty-eight of them) must be put away.

I think my husband may have secretly messaged her, telling her to take drastic measures to propel me away from the computer. When I went into the storage room to get the boxes for the nativities, I found the Christmas wreath which used to adorn the porch door hanging on the wardrobe. He must have put it there. There is no other plausible explanation. I fear a nefarious plot has been hatched.

I fail to understand their problem. I took the tree down two weeks ago!

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About Robin Helm

Robin Helm has published all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy. She also recently published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

26 thoughts on “The Jig Is Up

  1. Robin Helm

    Oh, my! You have discovered the “root” of the problem! I am indeed English-Scots-Irish! Thank you for providing an excuse (albeit a weak one).

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  2. Trez

    Rather funny I think.
    I am just the opposite, I get my decorations down lickety split but I never want to put them up. My children actually pick a weekend that they will all be available and put the decorations out themselves – and they usually end up doing it when I’m not home.
    The only I mess with are the cards that come in throughout the season.

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    1. rmhelm

      Wow, Trez! I want your secret to getting the kids to do it. My older one would help me, but she’s in Guam now. The younger one (who is bringing home the young man) despises putting up the decorations or taking them down. I don’t send cards anymore. It became very expensive, though I may do them next year to JAFFers. You all seemed to have so much fun with it this past Christmas.

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    2. Susan Kaye

      Ha! A woman after my own heart. My daughter puts the tree up the day after Thanksgiving–because if left to me it won’t make it up at all–and it didn’t come down until some time between January 3 and the 24th. I was out of town during that time and couldn’t be around to tsk until it was done.

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  3. wendisotis

    Every year, I’ve been putting up the decorations later and I tend to leave mine up way too long. My husband shames me into taking them down by beginning without me. I know I can ignore him as he does it, but I personally can’t do that, and the one year I tried it ;), things got put in the wrong boxes. I’m glad you have an excuse – my German-Italian heritage doesn’t help there.

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    1. rmhelm

      My husband puts the tree away after I remove the decorations, and he puts the huge stand away after I put away the village. He doesn’t do any more than that, and I’m glad. I would never find anything again!

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  4. Laura Hile

    My Christmas decorations are put away, but I cannot gloat. I have a domestic nemesis of my own, a mute testimony to the time writing takes. I refer, of course, to THE GARAGE.

    One day I hope to fit my car in there. One day may never come.

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    1. rmhelm

      We solved that by building a double garage with a 20X10 storage room in it. I can park my car blissfully without seeing the mess on the other side of the wall!

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  5. Laura Hile

    I expanded your picture to better see your “village,” Robin. Awwww, those shops are lighted — so charming! — which would make them that much harder to put away. My mom gave me a Curiosity Shoppe piece that I keep on my desk. I say it’s a night light.

    But yours is so much more. Say, is the village an aid to your writing work? (We writers play with our imaginary friends the way we used to play with dolls.) I wonder. If the village helps you write, wouldn’t adding to it be a business expense? And shouldn’t you leave it out in case you need inspiration?

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    1. Robin Helm

      Actually, I do move the figures around and have different scenarios set up. The Baptist church is having a carol sing, and the Christmas shop is running a sale on wreaths. The thing is actually about ten feet long with two levels. I can probably find a shot that shows it to better advantage.

      I bought a cathedral on sale after Christmas. Gorgeous!

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  6. Beverly Richardson

    Hi Robin! As you know by now, my tree is STILL up – decorations, lights, ornaments and all. This is quite typical of me and my hubby has gotten used to it after 28 years of marriage. This year it’s going to be up for quite a while since: 1) i’ve gotta have back surgery in February; 2) the tree was not decorated until Christmas Eve Eve due to said back problems/pain and Russell’s work schedule; 3) and lastly……it has NOT snowed yet!!! How can one have a “White Christmas” without SNOW??? I will be the only one in this part of the Pee Dee who will be able to celebrate a “White Christmas” (music, hot chocolate, and all) when and if we get some snow. Now should we not get lucky enough for snow this year, I have plenty of Valentine, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, August Birthdays, and Fall decorations to warrant leaving the tree up all year long. Feel free to pass along my ideas to anyone who wants to complain about decorating the “holiday” tree. And, yes, I leave the colored lights on all year, too!! Russell has already asked if I wanted him to pack away the nativity or the Christmas bears or Snowmen. Of course I said “Certainly not! Are you kidding me?” For verification of my degree of crazy…..ask Liz Brewer James!
    I applaud your efforts in keeping your own traditions going!!

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    1. Robin Helm

      Too funny, Beverly. Your hubby posted on my Facebook wall that he has learned when to be quiet – an excellent quality in a man, I must say. My own husband loves the village. I think he’s ready for everything else to go, but he wouldn’t object to leaving the village up and lit all year.

      You are not crazy. We don’t use that word. We say “pleasantly eccentric” or “a real individual.”

      Don’t let Russell pack up anything. You will never find it again. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt to prove it.

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    1. Robin Helm

      That’s so YOU, Annette. I love it.

      I don’t think my younger daughter would care if we had one or not, but I can still hear my mother in the back of my mind, talking about traditions. I suppose I’ll always have a tree because of her, and because I like to look at it myself.

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  7. Susan Kaye

    I have enough trouble keeping the clutter monster at bay so decoration holidays are landmines in disguise here at Toolie Acres. I could always send my 2-year-old granddaughter over to help bring the place down. Literally.

    Thanks for the post, Robin.

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    1. Robin Helm

      Ah, now I’m jealous, Susan. I’ll probably be on a walker before I have grandchildren. My nearly 31 year old daughter seems to be in no hurry. She doesn’t hear that biological clock ticking. My 21 year old is simply too young yet. She will eventually marry and have children, but that’s probably at least four years away.

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  8. Sophia Rose

    I decorate seasonally so my household is used to seeing ‘Christmas-y’ things up until the end of February. We do not do the shameful thing of leaving the Christmas lights on after the New Year, but the rest other than the tree stay up. I don’t like the ‘nakedness’ after I take decorations down, but then I have mostly items that are generally just winter decor too.

    Maybe you should reverse it on them all and threaten to freak out the young man. (-;

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    1. Robin Helm

      I don’t think he “freaks” very easily. He’s a college quarterback for the state university. I may freak out, but I have a feeling he’ll be fine.

      I leave up small nativities and angels all year, because I like them – and I can!

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  9. Susan Kaye

    I did go around yesterday and gather up the four wooden reindeer, one satin ball, one bridal Barbie ornament, and a china bear that missed the Christmas clean-up. No matter how you plan it, no matter how you try, Christmas is with us all year round.

    And I think Sophia Rose is right, this could be a great test of the young man’s metal. If he looks alarmed at a full-scale Christmas village taking up space in February, you’ll know he may not stand up well to the more rigorous tests of family life ahead!

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    1. Robin Helm

      You’re right, Susan. I always find something later that I failed to pack up with everything else.

      Spending a weekend with us will probably be test enough. Ha! He’s probably never been around a family that regularly quotes Jane Austen. Maybe we’ll make him watch the BBC miniseries of P & P. I like that idea!

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  10. larry

    Hi Robin. We never take our tree down. It is parked in the corner of the living room where it is out of the way. Florence turns the light off January 6, but the tree stays up. Our outside decorations come down (sort up) after January 6, too. I say sort of because Chris has to go up on the room to remove the gutter lights. I don’t do well on ladders any more, so we have to wait until the weather is good and he is home!

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    1. Laura Hile

      This is the trouble with nice-looking fake trees, Larry. They’re too easy to leave up! Unless your tree is living in a pot.

      We had one of those for a few years. Opened the slider door, pulled it inside in December. Pulled it out, lights and all, in January. (Eventually I did strip off the lights) Easy! If the tree lives. Which ours … didn’t.,

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      1. Robin Helm

        That’s a great idea, Laura. We could do that when we lived in Florida, but I don’t think that would work in SC.

        Too bad about the death of the tree. Did you have a funeral like the one they had in New York City?

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      2. Laura Hile

        A funeral for our dead tree, you ask?

        Well, sure. I had a Mozart funeral. That is to say, I dragged the poor thing to an unmarked grave (the green recycle heap) and tossed it in. As with Mozart, no friends showed up. There was no sudden thunderstorm to keep them away, but it was drizzling (this is Oregon). We didn’t have a faithful little dog to follow the hearse, as Mozart’s supposedly did, but our old lady cat was alive. She probably followed me for a while, meowing piteously … but only because she wanted something to eat.

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    2. Robin Helm

      Larry, I agree that you should stay off the ladders. If the lights never come down, that would be better than for you to suffer injury trying to take them down.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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