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It's the day after Christmas, and I'm wearing my watch.  I’m counting the minutes, seconds and milliseconds.  How long do I have to wait until it is appropriate to take down the Christmas tree?  It’s taking up precious space, and it must go.  I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but Christmas is over, right?  The tree has done its job, and while it was nice while it lasted, it is now quickly wearing out its welcome.

Some families think it is bad luck to take down the tree before New Year’s Day.  My family has always practiced the opposite.  We think it’s bad luck to leave the tree up until New Year’s Eve.  I’m pretty sure that’s because the mother will go crazy and impart bad luck on all who live in the house with her.

Yesterday, when the gifts were opened, it was all I could do to relax and not start urging everyone to take their new belongings to their rooms.  The belongings are still in my family room.  They are on the desk.  They are on the floor.  They are on the couch.  They are on the love seat.  They are spilling over into the kitchen and are on the table and on the counters.  They are in my bedroom and bathroom.  I’m pretty sure the only place the new belongings aren’t is in the kids’ bedrooms where they now live.  We have too much stuff.  I’m losing it.

It’s not that I’m a neat freak.  Really, I’m not.  Trust me on that one.  It would take just one glance at my house on a regular day to realize that I am not neat in the least bit.  However, when four people live in 900 square feet, we can’t afford to let the stuff gain control.  I’ve been fighting against the Clutter Coup d’Etat for two years, and the coup is winning.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be ruling this home for much longer.  Unfortunately, the coup, the dust bunnies and the guinea pigs have realized that if they work together, I don’t stand a chance.  Maybe I should just wave the white flag and become a hoarder. (It looks like I already am, so if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.)

I don’t want to be a bad mother.  I don’t want to force my kids to put their stuff in their rooms when they are still obviously enjoying looking at all of it spread all over the house.  I’m biting my tongue, but it’s starting to bleed.  I think I’ll set a clock for a count down.  It’s not the count down until the New Year.  It’s the count down until the stuff can go away.

As for the tree, I’m pretty sure it will be leaving us today.  The Beetle gave me a sad look when I said that earlier, but he doesn’t understand.  That tree is vicious.  It keeps attacking me every time I squeeze by it to get to the laundry room.  (I say this in jest.  It’s actually a laundry closet, but room sounds so much better.)  I have scrapes on my arms from that wicked tree.  It must die or go back in storage; whatever comes first.

I enjoyed Christmas.  I love Christmas.  I will love Christmas more when I am not living in a shoe box.  I used to decorate and make the house look so pretty.  Now, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, it must go.  Christmas decorations have no place in my home.  Unless they learn how to sweep, mop or do dishes, they can’t stay.  (I keep saying the same thing to my kids, but they aren’t leaving.)


I would go take a nap, but there is stuff on my bed.  I’d take a bath, but I’m pretty sure there are toys in there.  The stuff is surrounding me.  It’s closing in.  I can't breathe.  Someone come help me.  Save me from the clutter.  Come quickly before it’s too late.  Bring your snow shovel.  You’re going to need it.  -Al



 


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