One of the most unhappy and tedious jobs of the Christmas season is definitively taking down the Christmas tree. For those of you following the Food Network, I am sure you are familiar with the term throw-down and At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Tree Throwdown will be in warp speed on January 3, 2011.
Now, as opposed to the Food Network where basically the job is to achieve a great cuisine done on a specific food in the time allotted...Here, it will be getting all the ornaments off our inn Christmas tree, carefully cleaning and preserving each ornament, wrapping it neatly in tissue paper and gently placing it in the Christmas box until next year.
Every year, we have great plans for this to occur as a "well orchestrated event" despite the fact that this nearly never happens.
We plan this endeavor as not only an organized take down and carefully put away event but also an assessment of future needs. For example such questions as the following should be asked, answered and scribed down for the following Christmas so that the "put up" is a well oiled machine.
1. Do all the lights work?
2. Do we have enough fuses?
3. How is the garland faring and does it need to be replaced?
4. Remove all the hangers from said ornaments before packing away and place them in the "remembered place" so that we don't have to empty the entire box next year to hang the ornaments.
5. Do we have enough "in good condition" ornaments or should we hit the sales and secure some for next year?
6. How many "Christmas containing boxes" are there at the end of the "take down" operation? Accuracy here would enable us to actually appear with all of them at the inn at the same time on the "throw down" day.
7. Do we have a sufficient number of extension cords of the right length, color and polarity? If so, they are to be placed at the top of (rather than at the bottom) of one of boxes.
1. The lights, carefully tested, have taken a powder during their Christmas break leaving US not exactly illumined.
2. We did have enough fuses, the notes say we did... but no one knows where they are.
3. Garland remains ok.
4. According to "the plan" there are no ornament hangers left on the ornaments. Why those dirty little creepers can wreak havoc on the surface of the beautiful ornaments if left on... rendering them ugly and scarred for next years debut.
However, not according to the plan....they are no where to be seen and have evidently hidden themselves quite thoroughly as they remain resistant to detection until in desperation and not being able to continue the tree decoration we go to the store to buy others. Then the sneaky little creepers res-surface.
5. The ornaments look a bit less ok than they did in optimistic light of the New Year when they were last seen.
6. Now, some families take all the mystery out of this hunt by buying those neat little red and green plastic bins so that Christmas items are readily apparent. But hey folks those little bins, even on sale, are pricey.
Not as pricey as driving back and forth from your house to the inn four times with gas at more than $3.00/gallon .... but pricey nonetheless!
7. The extension cords are chameleons too. Why, they have either elongated or shrunk and they have also decided the color they were before was lack luster because that has changed for some of them as well. I say some because the rest have defected entirely and are not even present for the roll call.
Thank God for the reliability of the Garland. Why without that, a girl might just give us the entire idea of a plan!!!
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers