In my household, the Christmas decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving and are taken down on the first of January. The putting up has little to nothing to do with me (although I do enjoy the Christmas cheer) and everything to do with the 6 year old boy trapped in an over the hill body with whom I live.

Un-Decking the Halls

The taking down part is generally up to me. Hm. With the exception of lights on the house -- you couldn’t pay me enough to get on a ladder at that height-- I am in charge of the removal of dead wreaths and swags, the faded to just plain dead amaryllis and paper whites, and the transporting and packing of all the gewgaws adorning the rest of the house.

I am by nature (or perhaps nurture) a neat freak, so I tackle this task with gusto, eager to reclaim my home. The Christmas ornaments and assorted décor pieces get packed up and reassigned to their respective storage spaces as fast as I can pack it.

What to do with Living Decorations

The living or rather dead frippery is more of a conundrum. For those of you who have read my blog know, I don’t have a compost area; instead we pay for yard/kitchen waste. The problem with that is that the city doesn’t pick up during the winter months.

Luckily, I have a natural waste disposal area in the form of my parents’ property. They have much more land than the postage stamp sized lot we live on, so we discreetly and conveniently dispose of the now brown greenery somewhere out of the way on their land to be reclaimed by Mother Nature.

And oh what a relief it is to have everything back to pre-Christmas. Scrooge that I am, if I had my druthers, the holiday decor would have a much shorter shelf life. Yet even as I write this I know that by next November I will be just as excited to decorate for the season as my childlike mate.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.