Disassembling the tree is a slow but pleasant task, first the candy canes, crocheted snowflakes, tin icicles, red bows -- all the 'bulk' ornaments. Then the fragile glass ornaments, the many one-of-a-kind ornaments, and last, the stuffed ornaments -- reminders of long gone days with toddlers in the house.
Next to last is the popcorn and cranberry string. I'll slide the popcorn and cranberries off the thread and into a bucket for the chickens -- who will devour the popcorn and ignore the cranberries. Last of all, the lights come off and John drags the tree outside to a final resting place somewhere in the woods.
The canopy over Baby Jesus (made from the wire topper for a champagne bottle) was put there a while back by Justin and I can't make myself remove it. The lovely little angel, probably from the same Italian workshop as the other figures, was a gift this year. And yes, that's a Swedish Yule horse peeking out from the background. Better than the year the boys added Darth Vader and Han Solo to the Nativity.
We leave the lights up though, to brighten the dark days of January.
It'll be interesting to see what 2009 has in store.