I think everyone we know had a financially "tighter" Christmas this year and we were certainly no exception. But, this seemed to be the best Christmas in quite a while. Everything seemed more meaningful and there were no "throw away gifts". We did the majority of our shopping online this year. Most of that was cutting out Black Friday and cutting out the impulse items. No $5 Barbie dolls that go to the thrift store 3 months later after about 1 hour of play. No buying stuff just because it seemed like good deals when it was really totally unneeded (and ended up at the thrift store!). All in all, we're quite lucky and fortunate to have what we have. It was a good Christmas.
Right after Christmas we started slowly taking stuff down. First, all of the inflatables and yard decor came down. Then, the inside Christmas items all started to disappear back into the totes they call home for 11 months of the year. Finally, the tree and the outside lights came down. Christmas was over. It was fun while it lasted.
Looking around the house, I hate to say that it is kind of a relief to have my normal and un-decorated house back. That may sound "grinchy" but the first decorations go up with Halloween and you just get tired of all the knick-knacks after a while.
First, the Christmas ornaments all came off.
Then, the tree magically came apart into easier-to-move pieces.
Then, Sara took a self-pic with my Blackberry while I tried to drag the tree up into the attic.
Finally, the weatherman showed us that the weather here will be a lot more like Saskatchewan and a lot less like normal for the next week or so.