The most glorious messes

Al, Carla and me on Christmas morning, sometime in the mid-1960s.

Al, Carla and me on Christmas morning, sometime in the mid-1960s.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”Andy Rooney

I don’t know whether they should get credit or blame, but Mama and Daddy made all their kids into adults who love Christmas. I guess there’s a part of me that never really grew up when it comes to that holiday.  And for us, the delightful disarray starts long before Christmas morning.  Now, as then, our homes become glorious messes of wrapping paper, ribbons, colorful decorations that haven’t yet been put where they belong, and gifts hidden so well they might not be discovered again until June.  It all adds up to the year’s happiest chaos.

I started this year’s Christmas mess several weeks ago, knowing Jeff would be in the hospital over Thanksgiving weekend, by which time I normally have at least the York Christmas tree done.  As I write this, just the tree itself is up, not even adorned with the 3000-4000 lights I usually string on it before adding ridiculous numbers of ornaments.  Given everything that’s gone on this year, the Christmas mess is likely to be around awhile. No worries that it will get cleaned up too soon this year!

During this December, I wish you the happy sort of disorganization that suggests more festivity than frustration.  Cue up the holiday music, sip some spiced tea or coffee or eggnog, and enjoy the excitement!

One year ago today:

To lead a simple life

Hmm, do I sense conflicting themes here? 🙂

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I love this: “the year’s happiest chaos”
    What wonderful memories!

    • Yes, Christmas was magical in our home. That’s why I always tried (HARD, to the point of exhaustion sometimes) to make it so for my family. That era is gone for me and I doubt it ever will return. So, if you or anybody else wants one of my Christmas ornaments, I’ll be glad to send it. I have tons of them — a HUGE collection — and I’d rather give them away now than have them tossed out by whoever has to go through my things after I’m gone.

      • I also have boxes of Christmas ornaments in my Christmas cupboard. I’ll never use them all, either. I suppose I can start taping them to gifts, if I ever give non-digital Christmas gifts again in the future.

        • Susan, even though digital gifts seems like the way to go for so many reasons, I hope I never quit giving actual gifts. Having said that, I shipped my sister her yearly, carefully wrapped and festooned “12 Days of Christmas” gifts from me on December 4 in two Priority Mail boxes that were to have arrived at her home days later, and their whereabouts is still unknown. 😦 The tracking details offer no clue except that they arrived in Birmingham (2 hours from her home) days after I sent them. The rest is a mystery. So this might “cure” me of real gifts for awhile!

          • Oh no! That’s so sad that the packages went missing!

            • They finally turned up the day after Christmas, 21 days after I mailed them by “2-day priority mail.” 😦

              • Aaargh!

                • My thoughts exactly!

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