After several moves in the past year or two, we have ended up with a couple of unheated storage units haphazardly packed with everything from caribou antlers to furniture, drafting tables to fishing nets, sewing fabric to tarps (brown, not the classic Alaska blue variety).
Of course, mixed in with the above, is box after box of who knows what. (I know what, but given this is a “G-rated” blog I can’t say).
I might add, none of it is mine.
Except maybe those caribou antlers. And maybe the fishing nets……. Oh, the drafting table might also be mine. And that tarp sure was handy last time I went camping.
Anyways, on this not particularly cold Saturday (about 0 degrees Fahrenheit) I was charged with the task of extracting the Christmas decorations from those storage units. Not an easy task.
Accompanying me on this expedition were the intrepid Jolie and Ali, renowned explorers of the subarctic. Of course, neither of them brought hats or mittens and ended up spending the bulk of the time in the running car while I entered the realm of the lost and forgotten.
Before going on, I should add that when it comes to Christmas, I consider the Grinch and Scrooge as great failures. Once great fighters for the cause, they succumbed to temptation, celebrated Christmas and led many a young recruit away from crotchety obscurity.
May they be crucified upon Christmas trees.
Back to Saturday.
While I dove bravely into the storage units, mumbling about how the temperature inside the units was a good ten degrees colder, and the boxes and artifacts a good ten degrees colder still, the girls sat in the car arguing.
After 30 minutes of shifting boxes around, it came upon the midday clear, that Christmas sucks and I was cold.
Actually, after thirty minutes of listening to the girls fight while I froze trying to get “their” Christmas decorations out, I lost it. Let’s just say, if Santa was indeed watching there is one not so little boy who will be getting coal in his stocking for Christmas.
By the time I was done with my rant, it was clear to not only the girls but to anyone within a mile that we wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas again until they had children of their own if they so much as uttered another word against each other.
Returning to the storage units, fully heated, I extricated the green and red tubs of Christmas décor, and lodged them ever so gently into the car. (Sarcasm.)
About this time, a light went off in my head, causing me to duck and whirl about in surprise. (Those lights don’t go off very often, and always catch me by surprise.)
My Christmas shopping dilemma was solved. The solution was right in front of me, in those storage units. Inside, box upon box of forgotten possessions sat, waiting to be rediscovered………. under the Christmas tree.
I can wrap those boxes, stick them under the tree, and we can rediscover lost treasures!!!
The kids will love it, after all, the one time they emerged from the car long enough to peek into storage they were trying to grab on to anything that looked like theirs to take back home. This way, they can have it all!!!
And talk about boxes of stuff. Jane will get more presents then she ever has. Boxes and boxes of fabric, sewing patterns, unfinished projects!!
I’ll let you know how it works out- I will save myself days of shopping agony!!!
Come to think of it, just guessing, I may need a place to stay for a while after Christmas.
After arriving home, and unloading the precious cargo, my two little helpers and I headed inside, me to thaw out, them to pick up the house before we could unpack the Christmas goods.
It took another day, but eventually they did just that. And, for the most part, they took my threat to cancel the next 18 years of Christmas seriously.
By Sunday night, the house was clean, the tree was up, and the kids were excitedly watching Christmas movies.
And I, believe it or not, had enjoyed it. It is, perhaps for a long time, the first time in recent memory that I enjoyed the process of decorating for Christmas.
It may have been the excitement of the girls, or just the process of spending a weekend with them, and at home, that wore down my resolve.
Or perhaps it was frostbite.
Or a thawing of the discontinuous permafrost between my ears.
In the end, the process of excavating Christmas had proved to be as much internal as external.
And in a year of change, why not one more?