Monday, the tree got taken down. William helped me, and we packed away the ornaments. He heard the story of each of the ornaments once again, who they came from, when I got them, why they are special to his grandpa, or to me, or to both of us. A Christmas ornament means nothing unless the backstory is known.
After the ornaments were taken down, we took the crystal garland that looks like ice droplets down. Then the bubble lights came down and he heard the story of how his grandpa so loved bubble lights when he was a child, but his family was too poor to waste money on things like that. I told him William how I had found the bubble light candelabra and how grandpa had come in cold and frozen from hunting to a hot bowl of soup, and how he just watched the bubble lights and drank his soup while remembering how badly he had wanted them when he was a child. That touched me so much that I found two strands of them for the tree. They are one of his grandpa's favorite things.
Then the regular lights came down and were carefully coiled up. The circular tree skirt was folded in half, and a coil of lights placed between the two layers. It was folded into quarters, and another coil of lights was placed between the layers. One more fold, and the last coil of lights went between that layer. The tree skirt was now a nice little slice of pie shaped package.
We hauled the boxes of things up to the second floor landing. Under the banjo clock there is an old camelback trunk. It perfectly holds all the decorations. The top tray perfectly holds all the cards, gift bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper and ribbons. Once the lid is shut, Christmas is done for the year. The only thing left was to haul the tree to the third floor to be stored for another year.
We began vacuuming and moving the furniture back to where it belongs. I had brought down an antique rocker from the spare bedroom we are using now for extra seating during the holidays. As we were hauling it back up the stairs, I asked William if he'd like a rocker for his room. I was surprised when he got quite enthusiastic about it. We carried it into his room and I set it down.
"I know right where I want this to be!" he said, and he slid it over in front of his fireplace with the gas insert. He stood there studying the effect. "I wish I had a little table."
I had a little table. Two, as a matter of fact. He picked the one he liked. He said, "I want a cushion for the back. I sugested he run down to the library and fetch one of the throw pillows from in there. He scampered off and returned. I gave him an afghan to put on the back, and he put his pillow in place. He sat down and began to rock gently.
I had other things to do so I headed off, but when I came back a half hour later, he was still in his rocking chair in front of his fireplace, drawing a picture. He looked up at me as I passed his door. "I like this. It's like I have my own private livingroom too."