I haven’t done a lot for Christmas in recent years. When I was caring for my father, I made sure to make the day festive for him — decorating his small tree (which I inherited), making a requested meal (usually ham and potato salad), and getting token gifts. After he was gone, I did very little for Christmas, though I did exchange a couple of presents.
Since I’ve always saved wrappings and ribbons, I never had to purchase either. This year, however, I decided to go all out for Christmas — after all, it is the first Christmas/holiday season in my own home in my very own house. I’d used all the ribbons I had for hat decorations, and I had gotten rid of any paper when I condensed the stuff in my storage unit at the beginning of last year, so I needed to buy wrapping things.
The wrapping paper was cheap and pretty, and though I prefer blank undersides (to make gift cards and such), I had to admit the cutting lines made things easier. But oh, what a shock to find, at the end of the roll of wrapping paper not a cardboard tube (which I had plans for!) but simply rolled up brown paper. I did manage to roll that heavy brown paper tight enough to make an okay tube for what I needed (to store leftover window screening). But jeez. What’s the fun of buying rolls of wrapping paper if you don’t get a long tube with it?
And the ribbons. Oh, my. The upside: so glittery. The downside: so glittery.
When I finished wrapping my packages last night, I noticed that glitter was everywhere. I was covered with glitter. The floor was covered with glitter. The countertops and table were covered with glitter.
I dry mopped, thinking that the trap-and-lock cloths would easily pick up all the glitter. Nope. Some, sure, but not even most. Then I tried vacuuming. Again, nope. Those little suckers stuck to the floor and wouldn’t budge. Then I wet mopped — twice — which got up most of the remaining glitter, but now, when the lights are on, I can see glitter between the floorboards. My floor is the original antique flooring that has never been refinished, and some of the boards have shrunk a bit in this dry climate, leaving space for glitter to settle. I have a hunch I’ll be cleaning up glitter until next Christmas.
I was already tired from a full day of festivities at a Christmas event put on by both the museum folks and the art guild. (Here’s some of us art guild members all decked out in holiday gear.)
All that cleaning took me way past my bedtime (and I am not an early-to-bed-early-to-rise person) and wiped me out.
I try to end every blog post with some sort of hook or moral or lesson gleaned from the experience I’d written about — because otherwise, what’s the point — but the only thing I can think of to end this post is a note to myself: No matter how enticingly glittery the glittery things are, next year, be sure to buy plain old non-glittery ribbon and paper.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.