Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Hoarder



     I'll admit it. I have an addiction. I need to attend meetings for this because I am unable to pass a Hallmark Store without stopping for a quick purchase. This addiction has taken over my closets, my attic and yes, my husband's coveted tool shed.  "You know you have a problem," he says. "You need help."
     He's right. It's time I stood up at the local Holiday Hoarders Anonymous meeting and admitted the truth to the world.  "Hello, my name is Marcia, and I'm a holiday hoarder..."
     My obsession started with my first Sesame Street ornament---Cookie Monster---a gift from my father when I was twelve. A joke at the time, but now a sentimental reminder of a great man who was so loved and now gone.
     Fast forward 30 years and 25 plastic Rubbermaid containers later.  We're talking YEARS of accumulated holiday decor, and I don't just mean Christmas. I've got lights for every occasion---from shamrocks to bunnies, turkeys and hearts; pumpkins, goblins, American flags and plastic trees for Arbor Day. The Christmas decorations are the worst because there are Just. So. Many. We need three days and a conveyor belt just to unload the attic.

FRONT YARD DECORATIONS

     This is what my husband despises most. It is the reason he becomes the Grinch and Scrooge all wrapped into one. Our power company sends us a thank you note every holiday season for the amount of lights we use in our yard. Decorations such as a lighted reindeer pulling a sleigh were carefully packed away last season---INTACT. Yet this year when we open the box, our reindeer is now a pile of antlers and hooves. I think that it, along with all the other holiday decorations, intentionally retaliates by knotting itself up during the long, summer months stored in a hot attic.
     And then there is the issue of the lights. Strands and strands of them---once packaged in a neat coil, now a tangled mess that NO ONE wants to deal with. They were working fine last year when we packed them away. They were still working fine when we took them out of the box this year....when we wrapped them around all of our trees, across the roof and around every front window of the house.  We stood back when we were finished, admired the yard, did a few "high fives" and patted each other on the back for a job well done.
     An hour later, only half of the strand of lights on the roof stayed lit. The white icicles across the porch flickered a moment, as if gasping for breath before fizzling out. Even the twinkling angel on the front lawn has a droopy wing and the lights on the other wing were completely burned out. That's what we get for buying our lights at a dollar store. We have no choice but to schlepp to the local Walmart for more lights, but by then the pickings are slim.  I don't want neon beer can lights decorating the front of my house. The alternative is to purchase those giant, inflatable lawn decorations that look like Macy's Day Parade rejects. At night they're not so bad---glowing and erect as if they've been given a high dose of Viagra, but come morning after they deflate---they look more like fiesta-colored condoms strewn across the yard.

INDOOR DECORATIONS

     This is just as bad as the outside decor. Remember the fiber optics craze? Yeah, well so do I, because  I collected every Santa, snowman, sled, elf, Christmas tree and reindeer that sparkled, dazzled, danced and sang a cheery, holiday tune. I also have an entire village of little porcelain houses that my husband would like to pillage. What drives him to drink gallons of spiked egg nog this time of year is the cartons of decorations labeled "Assembly Required." On a particularly bad day, he'll claim that these boxes are grounds for divorce.

THE TREE

     "Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, How Steadfast Are Your Branches!"  Not for my husband. He breaks out in a sweat just contemplating endless hours of affixing lights and delicate ornaments to sappy pine tree branches. So much so that he convinced us to  break tradition this year and switch to the dark side by purchasing a faux tree. Yup. I've got an artificial tree from China, not the mountains of North Carolina. The silver lining in all of this? No more pine needles to clog up the vacuum. I was still sucking up those little escape artists on the 4th of July last year.
     The worst of my hoarding habit is my ornament collection. Hundreds---no, THOUSANDS---lie nestled in layers of crumpled tissues. At this point my husband is willing to dig a large hole in our backyard and tunnel his way to China in order to avoid a day with Bing Crosby, Perry Como and me, decorating our lovely tree.  He is terrified that history will repeat itself---the day we NEVER speak of---THE DAY THE TREE FELL DOWN....when all of my expensive, sentimental ornaments were reduced to glass shards scattered across a hardwood floor. Now we tie that sucker to the ceiling with endless loops of fishing line and guard it like it was Fort Knox. If my husband had his way, all those fragile, glass ornaments would be replaced by rubber ones. Ever see an ornament double as a tennis ball? You get the idea.

THE DAY WE PACK IT ALL AWAY

     This is the hardest part. I'm torn between feeling relief at dispensing all the holiday clutter and wanting to cling to the sentimentality of the season. Fitting everything back into the boxes from whence  they came is the REAL challenge. There always seems to be more items than what we started off with. And everything has to be disassembled---you need a degree in Engineering in order to fit the decorations back into their original boxes.
     Once everything has been stored and the attic door closed, it's inevitable that we will find a few stray items that were left behind in our weary state of packing. We are forced to schlepp back to Walmart for more Rubbermaid containers. As I am contemplating the aisles of Christmas decorations marked 50% off, my husband is contemplating divorce....or maybe just converting to Judaism. After all, how much room does a menorah take?
   

96 comments:

  1. Look at it on the bright side. You don't throw away things and you use it every year! I love your house decorations!

    Mika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mika! Nothing gets wasted here--but that is part of my problem--even if it is only half a strand of working lights, I save it just because you never know when you might need it...

      Delete
  2. I'm just loving this post! I have to agree you're obsessed but there are much worse obsessions. I have a few of my own. Thank God for hubbies that love us! Happy Holidays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right--and my husband has the patience of a saint!

      Delete
  3. I've never seen so many plastic containers in my life expect in a shop! You need to just get a little therapy to allow you to let go of them via a nice neighbourhood sale. Think about all the people who would really put them to good use, but you have them hoarding away in your attic!

    I've heard of this global warming, after reading this post it seems like a good percentage of the heating energy is emanating from one place...... your house! I'm surprised the energy suppliers haven't come round with a bottle of champagne in hand, you are really making their business thrive Ha ha ha ha. Oh, hang on a minute, I can see you from space, ha ha ha ha .

    I'm about to send a letter to your local shops to ban you from buying any more plastic containers or lights for the next 12 months, Great post again, and can't wait to read the next one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so funny, Rum Punch Drunk! I love reading you comments on my site. And yes, I am quite sure that NASA can see my house from outer space!

      Delete
  4. Is your name really Marcia? That is my daughter's name.

    There is nothing wrong with being addicted to the Hallmark store. I love it too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we will bump into each other there one day, haha! Yes, my real name is Marcia. I get teased about it all the time----because of the Brady Bunch: "Marcia, Marcia Marcia..."

      Delete
  5. As someone from outside of this problem looking in (after all, how much room does a Menorah take up) I have to say that I'm not terribly sympathetic. I just love driving around this time of year, oohing and aaahing at all the house decorations, seeing sparkling trees framed in windows. When the kids were little we'd drive around and rate the homes. However, one thing I cannot abide (or even remotely understand) is the fiesta colored condoms. HUGE fashion faux pas. Thanks for a good laugh. Wondering if people send you a Christmas card and your husband a sympathy note, poor guy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I SHOULD tell people to send him sympathy cards! The past 2 years he has roped our youngest son into helping him out so the job goes a lot faster now. I have NO clue what will happen when the last child moves out. My hubs will probably sneak all my stuff out to the dumpster when I'm not home!

      Delete
  6. This is hilarious because my mom is the same way! & is now passing her little gem of a habit onto me. She already talked about {5x mentioned at least} how we need to wake up before everyone else to make it to Hallmark the day after Christmas to stock up on some half off goodies.

    :]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh-oh! You shouldn't have told me Hallmark has a day-after-Xmas sale. Now I know where I'll be going......

      Delete
  7. I have a similar problem. Mine is Halloween. 25 or so bins of decorations. I've got Christmas down to two- and started with three this year, I regifted a lot of the decorations and ornaments I'm not in love with anymore to friends who would love it more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been trying to dump off stuff on my grown kids but they're catching onto my evil plot here.....

      Delete
  8. Definitely understand the obsession. I definitely don't have as many totes, but I have more than I probably should. :/ I have always wondered how we could put the lights back in a nice orderly fashion and each year open that tote up to balls of a mess! Loved the post!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have an entire bedroom walk in closet filled from floor to ceiling with plastic boxes. And there are not clothes in a single box lol. I know what you mean. I love decorating for the holiday seasons and look forward to each and everyone.

    Cari @ Reach For The Star Berries
    Reach For The Star Berries

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow!!! On some (much smaller) small scale, I know how your husband feels... Last weekend, I took Donna out to our "storage" garage and said: "Tell me what you need." Now, we probably have 4 or 5 containers (along with several bags). She said I'll need all of those. I said, "You think you need them all???" (trying to get away with the very least!!!) Ha... Just can't imagine 25.

    The Egg Nog... I too have a pic and little write up this week. Can't get enough of it. Ha!!!

    As usual, an entertaining read: Thanks, Slu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have egg nog I'm coming over for some!!!!

      Delete
  11. lol. I've stopped hoarding except to buy the boys annual ornaments and let them pick something out. I think it's because one of the most depressingdays of the years is the one when you have to carefully wrap and pack away everylittle thing. We even have this wooden cresh which is like a puzzle to get back into it's box. So for every tiny thing Itake out I remind myself I get to pack it away -- no one's around to help then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I HATE packing up the stuff! I agree--it is so depressing and labor intensive!

      Delete
  12. I make the mistake of buying some of the new, exciting holiday stuff before getting home and realizing I already have some version of it...Oops. I do love decorating and looking at all it's beauty. I certainly get your sentimentality of it all. (Your Cookie Monster, awwww). It's all fun and games until December 26.That is when it all comes down and I beg for Spring to come as quickly as possible...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate taking it all down but the house DOES look cleaner when I am done. Then it's time to drag out all the spring stuff.....

      Delete
  13. Your house is beautifully amazing inside and out!! My mother used to be the same way and would literally decorate every single room in the house. I loved Christmas. When she died, my dad carried on with the decorations just as elaborately as she always did. Now I carry on for both of them. Wish they were still here to enjoy it, although I can not imagine a better place if they can't be here than to celebrate Christmas with Jesus himself.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww that's beautiful thought, Kathy. I hope you will always carry on their tradition!

      Delete
  14. Lmao. Ah well, everyone has to have an obsession.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You really do have a problem. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you loved growing up with it, didn't you? Lol!!

      Delete
  16. I love the Christmas hoarders they save me from myself I enjoy the lovely trees & yard decorations of your sweat, tears & buying cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think the tree is wonderful, the house is a statement of festivity. It's perfect. Wonderful. They are beacons of Celebration!

    There, I hope that's enough to make you feel like you don't need to buy any more. :)

    In all sincerity... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right--I REALLY don't need to buy anymore holiday decorations....but I Just. Can't. Stop. When did you say the next Holiday Hoarders meeting is???

      Delete
  18. whewww that tired me out just thinking about putting all that stuff up... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it tires everyone out. Perhaps I should hire some minions next year to do all the work????

      Delete
  19. We've only had a house for nine years, so I don't have QUITE so many bins... but I foresee my future being very similar to yours. Not only has our tree fallen on its face in a disastrous yet necessary learning experience (BOTH SIDES OF THE TREE MUST BE DECORATED IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN STABILITY), but I too am an avid lover of post-Christmas decor markdowns. Who can turn down LED lights that are marked 50% off??? I mean HONESTLY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll have to get in line behind me for those 50% off LED lights!!!

      Delete
  20. Tell your husband no matter how annoying those outside decorations are, they're not as bad as this...

    http://www.trekaroo.com/photos/0004/7036/DSCN2818__2_.JPG

    This was the "Christmas House" in Torrington, CT where I lived for several years. This guy's lighting bill equalled the national debt. And you can't even hear the Christmas music playing. Yes, there was Christmas music playing too. He had fights with the neighbours over this, who were already pissed off about the fact that his house lit up the entire neighbourhood at night. I'm pretty sure you could see it from the International Space Station ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. My. God. THAT is the definition of OVERKILL!! That's just wrong on sooo many levels----like, "Let's see how much crap we can pull out of storage and totally cover our entire house with it and play loud Xmas music just to annoy the neighbors!" This picture is God-awful--yet kinda validates SOME of our decorating process--thank God what we do is on a MUCH smaller scale. Thanks for sharing this pic--I could REALLy mess with the Hubs by telling him I want to do THIS next year....!

      Delete
  21. great post..
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks--I appreciate the visit and the comment!

      Delete
  22. Love the end results, your house looks nice! Made me smile! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess this means all our hard work paid off!

      Delete
  23. Haha, you are sooo funny... everything looks amazing... I am just not this good:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes a lot of time and patience but so worth it in the end as you can see!

      Delete
  24. I love that you decorate so well for Christmas! And I'm with you on it being weird to take it all down when the season is over--I get sad in some ways! Thanks for linking up with the #MTMmixer :)
    Meredith
    www.themomoftheyear.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I almost dread it once Jan. 1st hits and it all has to come down. It's a fake tree so I guess I could keep it up all year long....at the risk of driving everyone in my family nuts!!

      Delete
  25. I have a solution to your holiday ornament hoarding. I'll send my kids over to your house. Not only can they not keep their hot little hands off the tree, they break about 5 or 6 ornaments a year. I'm not just talking the breakable ones either! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha don't tell my hubs--he'll be begging you to bring them over!!!

      Delete
  26. Or actually, would that make it worse? Ooooh I published too fast! You can still have them for awhile if you wish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be sure to keep the non-breakables on the lower limbs of the tree!

      Delete
  27. I love that you still have an ornament from the time you were twelve. You're not a hoarder--you're sentimental! I'm like you, except for Halloween. I decorate indoors for Xmas, but I'm not an outside light fanatic--simply because I have no husband to put them up! But now I'm sandwiched between two houses that literally glow even after the lights are turned off, so I'm feeling some peer pressure this year. Your light scenario reminds me of the one in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha someone else sent me a link of that. I love houses that are all done up like that--I drive around looking for them! Hey, if your neighbors are putting on some pressure, see if they'd be willing to help put up some lights for you. If I lived near you I'd get the hubs to do it--what's a few more lights to untangle among friends, huh?

      Delete
  28. Hi I found you through the GFC Blog Hop and followed :-) Feel free to visit my blog anytime.

    kisses Pakize (Keke)

    http://madamekeke.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the follow! I'll certainly check out your site!

      Delete
  29. I'm so happy to know I'm not the only one who is drawn like a moth to the flame when I pass a Hallmark store during the Christmas season!

    Thank you so much for participating in our Aloha Friday Blog Hop!! I am following you, of course!! Wishing you and yours a lovely week!!

    Aloha,

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the visit Jean! I'll probably see you at Hallmark after the holidays when everything is marked down!

      Delete
    2. Yes!! that is the BEST time to go because the deals are amazing! :)

      I hope you are having a lovely week my dear and thank you so much for linking up to last week's Aloha Friday Blog Hop.

      If you have time, we'd love to have you come back and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven't already!

      Aloha,

      Jean {What Jean Likes}

      Delete
  30. Just found your awesome blog from the blog hop! I'm a new follower!

    RebeccawithanR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rebecca for the visit and the follow! I'll be sure to check out your site!

      Delete
  31. Oh, that was another brilliant blog, MM. Loved your creativity...the pics look awesome!And, it's good to know that there are many more compulsive buyers like me :D
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, you are not alone in the compulsive buyer's club!

      Delete
  32. Although I'm surprised with the hundreds and thousands of stuff you have, I'm glad that they're all nicely packed and organized in plastic containers, not mentioning the wires that were "nicely" coiled up.

    Sorry for what happened to the lights. I know how much they upset you after all those hard work setting them up. I'm also sorry for how much your husband is traumatized by the thusands of ornaments lying on the floor on that special day which is now kept in your X-files. Don't forget to check the backyard every morning for any sign of tunnel digging.

    Hopefully it won't take you 4 days to unload the Christmas decorations next year. If Mr. Crab reads your post, I'm sure he will be selling plastic containers next to your house :)

    Having said all, honestly, you're doing great as a wife and mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Zunnur! I try my best to a good wife and mother despite my odd hoarding habits....

      Delete
  33. I, too, am a holiday hoarder! Thanks for joining in the GFC hop! I'm excited to be following you - ((Hugs))
    Heather
    stringtownhome.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From one hoarder to another, thanks for the follow!

      Delete
  34. Haha! And I thought 4 big cardboard boxes was excessive;)!! Your lights look fabulous! We neglect the outside 'cos we live out in the sticks, and hardly anyone see it.. but screw that! next year I'm going all out! If it's only us and the kids that drive up to the house at night it'll be worth it! BTW, if you have to buy even more lights (before Chrimbo), It's so worth getting the LED ones - cuts your leccy bills in half:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are correct! We have some LEDs now----trying to blend them in with the old ones but next year it will be all LEDs. And yes, you GOTTA decorate outside next year----just don't tell your hubs I told you that.....

      Delete
  35. The tree looks gorgeous! I love that you go all out... Right now we have boxes downstairs and I've been "gradually" decorating. When I come up from the basement I bring a holiday Item with me and place it. The tree's are all decorated and the outside is done...so the rest of it can come out like this!

    Thanks for linking up with us at the MTMMixer this week! Great to have you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for hosting it! I love participating in your blog hop!

      Delete
  36. I love your blog name!! I cleaned my Christmas out a few years ago. I had accumulated a lot of stuff, but luckily with two kids in there own homes now, I was able to unload a pile. ;D From your newest follower, Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the visit and the follow. Now..would you be interested in coming over and cleaning out my Christmas stuff???

      Delete
  37. I am following you from the Follow Who? Blog Hop. Please follow me back http://savegreenbeinggreen.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the follow! I'll check out your site!

      Delete
  38. You know what they say...admission is the first step! You may consider me an enabler but I think your tree looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha that does validate all my hoarding, you know. As a matter of fact, I snuck over to Macy's yesterday and bought five more ornaments..It's a sickness, I know....

      Delete
  39. Lovely post! Same stuff happening in my house as well and I'm also a Christmas ornament hoarder! I get emotionally attached to every little ornament and won't throw it away unless it's broken and...beyond repair. Cause I will try to fix it!!! And then I find these wonderful, cute little ornaments at the store that I just have to have! Thank God (!?) for the financial crisis which will limit my expenditures!!!LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are speaking my language, girl! I get way too attached to them and I still put them on the tree even if they have a hole in them--I just turn the bad side away so no one sees it!

      Delete
  40. I commend you for such honesty! And so well written! I felt like I was right along side you every step of the weary way!

    My hubby grew up with a slightly bi-polar mom and an alcoholic father (his father eventually quit cold turkey when my hubby was 21 and himself a drinker like his good old dad). So holidays are not fun or cheery for my hubby.

    Me? I'd settle for a Chinese restaurant and a comedy show on Christmas!

    Tree? What tree? I'm such a holiday commitment phobe!

    I'm pinning you here http://pinterest.com/lnmontessori/mom-lit-holiday-memories/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Given the history in your husband's family, I totally understand the hesitancy about not wanting to commit to the holiday. Hey, I'm just happy you stopped by to read this post and leave such a kind comment. Thank you!

      Delete
  41. New follower thisdayilove.blogspot.co.uk love the tree and your decorations

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Leyla! I'll be sure to check out your site next!

      Delete
  42. Oh wow! I have one tote and I have nothing out yet.
    One year my tree fell down too. Not fun.
    Stopping by from Whatever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruth for visiting from Cindy's blog. She has a wonderful group of followers, so I am honored that you stopped by & followed me as well. Thanks!!

      Delete
  43. Oh dear! I don't have that much of Christmas decors because I got rid of the ones I really don't like and I am usually collecting the vintage kinds. BYou have one beautiful tree and the outside of the house when all the lights are lit up at night. :) New follower of yours via blog hop.

    Adin B
    http://www.thriftysahmway.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I like the way the outside looks, too!

      Delete
  44. Being in an apartment definitely forces me to keep my holiday decor a minimum--Which is probably a good thing:)
    I am stopping by from the Super Sunday Sync.
    Merry Christmas,
    Angela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The title is hilarious! And no offense, but that tree defines hoarder. I think my grandmother is a hoarder and my boyfriend calls me a hoarder. He thinks my clothes and collection of owls is very unnecessary, so that means I am a hoarder I guess!

      Thanks for linking up this week for the Followers to Friends Blog Party!

      Sherry @ I AM PISCES
      Followers to Friends Blog

      Delete
    2. You collect owls? I collect squirrels! I guess we ARE hoarders!

      Delete
  45. Hoarder? No way -- ENTHUSIASTIC Christmas Reveler, more like it! LOVE all your decorations! and admire your energy to decorate with all of them! that's a Herculean task!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Marcia, how are you? Long time no hear, hope youre all good, anyways love your outdoor decorations...was watching a show last week about the competition going on here i think it was called king of christmas, how people show a display and spend over 15 grand (british pounds) on their display...i was like, huwatttt? But i love seeing peoples houses with nice decorations...merry christmas to you and your family...xxx

    ReplyDelete
  47. The roles are reversed in our household, where I'm the hoarder and Mrs Jones throws everything away. You could horde worse things, like ... ... ... ... OK, I can't think of anything but at moment but will drop by later!

    ReplyDelete

Shareaholic

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...