Sunday, January 6, 2013

TCHOTCHKES (or you might know it as chotskies)

The thought of de-Christmasing the house is not a JOYful thing.  In fact, I just dread and despise it.  It takes forever.  It is 4 days later and I am still finding Christmas "stuff" here and there. fact just this morning, I took my first trip of the day down the stairs and my arms were full of forgotten Christmas glitz I happened to notice in my bathroom.  (Christmas stuff in the bathroom?  Ummm - yeaa aaa - every room gets dressed up for the holiday in this house - helloooo?)

But actually...(you knew that "actually" was coming, didn't you?), I caught much JOY de-Christmasing this year.  WHAT?????  You say?   

Ever since the three little pigs were old enough - 6 or 7 years ago - trimming the tree and decking the halls has been a less than JOYful experience.  They want to unwrap, throw place the pieces around the house, butcher hang all the get the picture.  What went from a JOYful, off times romantic, cozy experience with the fire blazing, soft Christmas music playing, champagne in hand  

has turned into a yelling, messy, picking up broken "things" kind of torture.  Add hot chocolate on the rug and voila - my unJOY is complete.  And the thing is, that I forget each year - kind of like labor - until the first Christmas Tchotchke is unveiled.  Groannnnnn...  

Tchotchke (/ˈɒkə/choch-ka)[1][2][3][4][5] is a small bauble, doodad, doohickey, gewgaw, gismo, goolyakitsch, knickknack, lagniappe, swag, thingamabob, thingamajig, toy, trinket, whatchamacallit, whosie-whatsit, widget, etc. Depending on context, the term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability as well as tackiness,[6][7] and has long been used by Jewish-Americans and in the regional speech of New York City and elsewhere.

Well not in the sense of this definition, I guess.  I use the term Tchotchke really, to describe "stuff".  (the word "tchotchke" dedicated to my friend Missy- BTW) Not necessarily "tacky" stuff.  My tchotchkes are NOT worthless or tacky - trust me. 

So the point is - I don't really get to oooh and ahhh anymore like I did when I was a DINK (Double Income No Kids?) as I forgot, and then remembered, each piece as it came out of it's basement cocoon.  And then I'm taking everything down, husband and littles helping, and once again I'm yelling, crying, cringing, swearing and growling - like my middle child does constantly - and the season is depressingly over.

THIS year - I did the de-frock on a Wednesday.  When everyone was back at school or work.  Don't get me wrong, it was a longggggg day.  But I finally got to oooh and ahhhhh.  I lovingly took every ornament off the tree and actually squealed remembering who gave it to me and how beautiful, quirky or delicate it was.  I experienced that lump in my throat, omg, moment when I walked over to a window to put away the hand made/painted Santas that my parents worked on, Christmas after Christmas, in their retirement.  Each one unique and so much more precious, now that they are both gone.  (Funny how that happens...)

I reflected back on Christmases past as well as this past season.  I got to really enJOY some very special gifts I had not had a chance to truly appreciate yet.  It was a wisp of the Christmas spirit still in my heart.

 And My JOY gifts abounded!

Which brings me to the "end of the season" JOY and one of the points of this post.

There IS a certain JOY in putting my house back together after the holiday.  Once I get over the depression of de-frocking and re-organizing, I look for JOY in bringing my house back to the nest I love so much.  

In the process of decking the halls, I end up packing away a large number of "stuff" to temporarily make room for the glitz.  When I say large - I mean large.  Why do I have all this "junk" out???  Ok - it's not "junk".  But at some point, a thousand framed photos gets lost in the sea of me.  Do I even look at them any more???  Yea - I DO.  When I am packing them away during the Christmas season - that's IT!

So this year - I am minimizing.  Not all the tchotchkes are making it back out this year!  So along with the boxes of Christmas glitz and Easter stuff and Halloween decorations, there will be even more tubs of "years gone by tchotchkes".  Ahhhhh - the JOY of  feeling lighter already and I haven't even started it yet!

Here is my favorite gift (next to the video my daughter made me for Christmas).   

Today I will be choosing where it will live for a very long time.  My niece Erin found it for me and I am still in awe of it and how much I LOVE it and how much it means to me to see her so excited to "give" rather than get.  Her excitement brought me as much JOY as the gift.  So thank you my sweet girl.  I will think of you every time I feast on this clever JOYful gift that will not get lost in the sea of me nor be less precious until a different day.

How cool are these photos???  Afterall - it's what it's all about, isn't it?


  1. It's always a joy for me to read your posts. This was a great share, and I totally relate to your thoughts and feelings. LOVE the video Brooke made for you, and the gift from your niece! You are lucky to have such loving friends and family, and you are wise to keep catching and acknowledging all that joy! Happy New Year, Joey!

  2. Those photos are very cool... and that video that Brooke made was just the best gift ever. You will cherish that many years from now and find JOY many times over.

  3. I'm LOVIN the photos, really cool. I totally get the unjoy after christmas feeling. I thought I was smart this year, sort of replacing the tree and the decorating with a family trip away, thinking I would bypass the unjoy portion of the holiday. But it doesn't work. That feeling is here alright, cause I wish I was still on vacation.

    You seemed to handle the unjoy portion with a good bit of Joy. Very cool, and hope you had a great christmas.

  4. I love the JOY photos! What an awesome gift from your niece! As much as I love all the Christmas decorations, after New Years it's time they go! I am joyful when my house is back to normal and clean again!

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  7. What a delight. You have Joys around your Christmas the way I have Noels. Of course, that is because my daughter's middle name is Noel.