Tuesday, December 26, 2006


My least favorite day of the "holiday" season is December 26, the day after Christmas. It's not because Christmas is over - I don't experience any kind of post Christmas let down. It's the overwhelming feeling I get when I look at the mess my house has become. Because we have Christmas with my parents Christmas eve, our own Christmas on Christmas morning, Christmas with Jason's side of the family Christmas afternoon, and Christmas with my brother and his family Christmas day evening, we don't have any time in between the celebrations to put our gifts away. Sometimes they don't even make it out of the car before our next stop. This year we deposited all of the gifts in our dining room, creating quite a mess. Christmas decorations in our house that once added to the festivity of the season now seem out of place. Do I put the decorations away first and then tackle the new "stuff" we accumulated, or do I try to find room for the stuff amidst the decorations and then tackle the decorations? Do I organize one room at a time or do I unpack each box and put the stuff in its proper place? When are we going to put together all of the toys and other household items we received? Nothing comes preassembled anymore (and on a side note, it took us 30 minutes just to get the My Little Pony Magic Castle out of its box - why do they package things so tight?) It's hard to know where to begin.

I decided to tackle the project one room at a time - first take the Christmas decorations out of the room I was working in and then put the new stuff away. In order to put new clothes away, closets had to be reorganized to get rid of too small stuff to make way for the new. At times during the day I could feel my pulse racing and I was almost near tears, but little by little I whittled away at the piles, and I am down to the tree and ornaments and just a few odds and ends here and there.

Some people leave their Christmas decorations up until the new year; some leave their lights outside up year around. But for me, once the big day is over, I am ready to get back to normal. Our family thrives on normal. Some people love excitement in their lives, constant change, even drama, if necessary, but our family loves consistency. Some may call that boring, unadventurous, non-spontaneous, but it's how we are. When I run into friends or acquaintances that I haven't seen in awhile, and they ask "What's new," I rarely have anything to tell them. Since we've been married, we are both working at our same job, we've lived in the same house for the last six years, I'm driving the only car I've ever owned, we attend the same church we were married in, and most of our closest friends we have known since high school or college. A few months ago I posted on a topic I called "Robot," explaining our day to day (and minute to minute) routine that we follow. And while the post commented on stress and schedule, there is a certain comfort level to that. When major events happen, such as marriage or birth or death or change in job or a move, then a new normal is established, and you move on from there. I remember after the birth of both of the kids, I could not wait to get home. Fortunately each time we only had to spend one night in the hospital, and that was plenty long for me. I was ready to get home, get a routine established, and adjust to the new life that was beginning. When we moved, I couldn't wait to get all of the boxes unpacked, get things in their place, and then get used to the new surrounding. Our offices moved over the summer, and I went into work a couple of days just to get boxes unpacked and everything organized so when the first official day of work came, everything would be in its place. When we come home from vacation, Jason unloads the car, and as he is unloading I am getting the laundry started, putting things away, getting the house back to normal.

Everybody's normal is different. Maybe if we weren't so satisfied with our normal, we would be more likely to seek change. But I love our normal...even if it's abnormal.


Anonymous Amy Schlabach said...

I am a friend of Burke and JoEllen's (go to their church) and have been reading your blog for a while. I love it! You always make me think or give me a good laugh! You and I seem so much alike! I can completely relate to your recent blog entry!!! I hope you got the rest of your things put away and the tree taken down!
Amy Schlabach

December 27, 2006 5:52 AM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Here's my solution - - - - - I leave the Christmas decorations right where they are until at least after New Years. That's how "old" folk do it. ;-)

But - - - all that REALLY does is delay the inevitable.

December 27, 2006 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Jen Avery said...

I guess Sott and I have fallen into routines as well, I have just never thoguht about it. We make a good team. Soon we will have numerous routines to figure out. Please just smile at us and laugh later, I know we will make many mistakes as new parents!

December 27, 2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Bekah said...

Oh Deb - I so hear you on this. I thought about starting the great take-down yesterday but I just didn't even know where to start. I think I'll wait until this weekend when I have three days to work on it. I'll miss the holiday spirit - but I'll be glad to have all the normal furniture in the normal places.

December 27, 2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Amy - thanks for commenting. We may have even seen each other before as we have visited your church several times. I'll have JoEllen introduce us next time we're in Berlin.

Keetha - if I come visit you this summer, can I sneak on the golf course? My senior year I attempted to play golf on the team, and the Elks was our home course - very small greens.

Jen - I can't wait until your baby girl is born! It will be so exciting. And we won't laugh at you and Scott (at least not to your face) :)

Bekah - it is hard for me not to put the "Re" in front of the Bekah, but since that is now how you are known, I will switch over. Wasn't I "Deborah" at church back in the day?

December 27, 2006 4:53 PM  
Blogger Toevs Family said...

That pony castle was hard to get out of the box! We had that problem too. :-) But the girls love it!

December 27, 2006 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like normal...to an extent; but I also like some change (moving furniture around mainly). I like to keep decorations up awhile because it seems to make the holiday last a bit longer.

I tend to be the type of person who lives event to event, so since the next major holiday after New Year's is Valentine's Day, it seems like an overwhelmingly long wait. (Which is why we TRIED to have our kids in late January/February!)

December 27, 2006 8:19 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Deb - - - Greg is a member at the Elks. You come visit, and we'll let him take you golfing. Does Jason golf??? I don't - - - but have been known to walk along a time or two in my life.

December 27, 2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Let's just say Jason and I both have clubs. At what point can a person actually call themselves a golfer? I play 1-2 rounds a year, and if I shoot a 50, I'm happy. There's no other sport that frustrates me as much, yet I enjoy it - yet another paradox of life.

December 27, 2006 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only I could be like Cool Sis and be so quickly organized after Christmas...... :)

Normal? ........I use to be normal until I had kids. :)

December 28, 2006 12:57 AM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Isn't normal a relative term?

I think I'm "normal" - - - and I don't even WANT to undecorate yet.

December 28, 2006 1:43 AM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Deb - - - if you're shooting 50 on 18 holes, you should be ecstatic!!!!!

;-) (I presumed you meant 50 for 9 holes)

December 28, 2006 1:44 AM  
Blogger Bekah said...

Deb - you can call me whatever you like. If the Re makes you feel better - go for it. I'm not even sure how I came to be Bekah...because Mom and Dad were anti nicknames. But yes, I think you were Deborah back in the day. Have we just gotten this lazy???

December 28, 2006 8:10 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Keetha, looks like you are not on school time this break - 1:44 AM!!!

December 28, 2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Isn't freedom grand??? Although, I could have SWORN I went to bed at 1 - - - - maybe my time stamp is an hour off???

I know, I'll try this little experiment, post this, and then see if the time is accurate on the post.

December 28, 2006 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shesh - - - - (she says with a red face) - - - - I guess I was up a lot later than I thought!!

December 28, 2006 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Aren't you cute with the comment on Funny Lady's blog?

I wrote in response to you on her blog. Check it out.

December 28, 2006 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear ya loud and clear. I love normal. I enjoy special things, but I'm always ready to return to my normal routines. I wasn't quite as quick as you with my return to normal. I just started taking things down today and I'll finish tomorrow. The nice weather was perfect for getting my outside lights down.

December 29, 2006 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 03, 2007 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! That was a close one.

Thanks Cool Sis!

I about had a heart attack.

January 03, 2007 9:46 PM  

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