I am even more reluctant to take the Christmas decorations down than I was to put them up. After they are all tucked away the house is plunged into that drab grayness that makes all of us happy little homemakers realize that the house “needs something.”
Usually the “something” it needs is something much too expensive in the light of Christmas bills yet to be paid, so we content ourselves with great ideas that will be translated into reality “someday.”
Three years ago about this time I decided that we needed a basement playroom for the children so their toys would all be out of sight. We had the room, but it needed a little cleaning and some painting. Finally this fall we got around to making the basement playroom a reality.
By this time it needed a lot of cleaning. It took Bill and the two older boys three days to sort the trash from the junk and get everything ready to paint. I knew just what color I wanted. The only problem was finding it.
Bill decided that if we were going to paint anyway it might as well be waterproof paint. According to the charts, that paint didn’t come in my color. Finally I gave in and took the only yellow they had in waterproof paint. When we got it open it was just what I wanted. So much for paint color charts.
We bought a huge can, and I was sure it would be enough to do all four walls and have some left over. Two more cans of paint later we finished the walls and were ready to start the ceiling and the woodwork.
For the ceiling I wanted white and for the woodwork royal blue. We ran out of white, and I had to make a flying trip for another quart of paint to do about one square foot of ceiling.
Since I am notorious in our family circle for being a rotten painter, I stayed away from the room while the painting was in progress. The older children are all pretty handy with paint brushes, so they were allowed to help. I entered only to announce that dinner was ready, and to determine how many more cans of paint I had to get on each trip to the paint store. But still I managed to get paint all over one arm and on my lap.
Saturday afternoon when the project started little Joe leaned back against the newly painted wall and then came upstairs. First he sat on my lap, then on the living room floor. He moved his seat three times before I realized that he was making yellow seat prints on me and the floor.
By Sunday morning all the paint the little ones could reach was dry, so I felt safe in dressing them in their Sunday best clothes. Then Bill and Billy decided to finish the trim on the ceiling. Bill put the lid of the can on top of the motor of the old power mower so no one could accidentally get into it. No one did—accidentally. Joe very deliberately crawled up and sat on the lid. His bright red Sunday best pants now have a neat royal blue paint circle on the seat.
Altogether it took twice as much paint to do the room as we had figured. Of course, we hadn’t counted how much it would take to cover me and Joe, not to mention the other kids and the outside front wall of the house which somebody painted when nobody was looking.
Still, it was all worth it, we thought, even if it did cost more than we had planned. The kids were absolutely thrilled with it—for almost three days, after which they moved right back upstairs with toys scattered all over the place again. They didn’t go near the basement playroom again until we hid some of the Christmas presents down there.
So I am a little reluctant to remove the Christmas decorations, even though they are getting a bit battered. I hate to think of what might come after they go.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with her columns, Back Around the House and All Around the House. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.