If you know me in real life, you likely know that I’m obsessed with Christmas. Every year I start listening to Christmas music in secret weeks before it is appropriate, I’m itching to break out the decorations the minute Thanksgiving is over, and I adorn each and every room of our home with decorations custom to that room’s decor. It’s admittedly a lot of work, but feeling that gingerbread feeling is just magic to me. I love this house most at Christmas, and while a lot of that is due to it being full with friends and family, it’s also how everything just shines dripping in Christmas decor. I LOVE it.
But then with a blink of an eye, Christmas is over, New Year’s eve fades into New Year’s Day and the calendar betrays me, going from my beloved busy and magical December to my very least favorite month… January. While December is about fun, frivolity, the blissful holiday shutdown at work, cookies and cocktails (for the non-preggers anyway) and oodles of things I love, January seems to be about austerity, cutting back, getting back to work, cleaning out, resolving to do more or better. I won’t lie, historically, I’ve always hated January.
In years past I would avoid, deny, and cling on to Christmas as long as I could. Growing up Catholic, I know that the 12 Days of Christmas start on December 25, and I would refuse to take down my Christmas Decor until January the 6th and if I’m being honest, they would sometimes linger well after that. And while it meant I got a little more time with the decorations, I wouldn’t enjoy taking them down any more and I’d have to do it with a lot less free time while back at work.
A wise friend shared the words of Carl Jung with me, “what you resist, persists,” and since I believe it, and that my attitude creates my experience, this year I’m taking a new approach to January. Rather than dragging out Christmas until the last possible moment and dreading the return to real life, I decided to be proactive. For me this meant, embracing the end of Christmas, preparing for the fresh start of the new year, and finding things to be excited about in January.
We had unseasonably warm temps the weekend after Christmas and a 10 day forecast that was plummeting so I encouraged my sweet husband to take down our outside lights early, so that he’d be up on the roof in 50 degree temps instead of 15 and I got to work on packing up our inside decor between delightful bursts of “morning sickness.” Maybe it was just my determination to change my attitude, or maybe it was the knowledge that next year I’ll be trying to do this with a baby on my hip, but packing up Christmas was decidedly more joyful this year. And as I unpacked the standard decor that gets boxed away to make room for Christmas, I got excited thinking about fresh ways to arrange it.
We also got to work cleaning out our closets. I’m a little ashamed to admit that for the almost four years I’ve owned my home, I’ve had my clothing spread across all the closets of the three upstairs bedrooms. My old master closet was stuffed to gills and Aaron’s hanging clothing was relegated to half of the black and white room closet, with my overflow taking up the other half and also the entirety of one of the small closets in our guest suite. It was shameful, especially since with only a few exceptions, I hadn’t touched those clothes since I stuffed them in there and more than a few pieces still had tags on. I made some progress this summer when we demolished my old master closet and installed a closet in the laundry room attached to our bedroom. Finally Aaron’s primary work wardrobe was out of second class storage and my wardrobe was paired down, but we still had overflow in both closets. So we took a couple of hours after Christmas and pulled all of the clothes out of those closets and decided what would be kept and what should be donated. Eight giant trash bags of donations later, we had empty closets in our guests room. It felt so good to clean things out!
On the things to be excited about for January, I struggled more. We’re trying to save money and vacation time for when the baby comes, and we didn’t have any super exciting plans on the calendar after the holidays wrapped. I was drawing a blank, but then I went to Target. And staring out at me from an aisle that a week ago held holiday baubles was some gorgeous new home decor! I threw a couple of pillows in my cart and with them came a renewed sense of excitement. Even though the holidays are over there is still plenty this month to look forward to:
- The end of my first trimester of pregnancy (and with it, fingers crossed the end of my all-day morning sickness)
- Planning and practicing for the Speakeasy Cabaret that my community theater group will putting on (more to come on this)
- Continuing the launch of this blog
- Making some plans for the nursery now that we know baby A is a BOY!!!
- Tweaking the living room decor to introduce new throw pillows (photos later this week)
- Joining my ickle-baby-sisterkins on visits to Universities because she is somehow old enough to be almost done with college and starting her PhD in the fall
Maybe I’ll learn to love January after all?