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Unpacking decorations like reuniting with friends

I think I heard a ghost moan and a little witch cry the other day as I tucked them safely away for another year. When I closed the lid to the box, I could almost hear them begging me to allow them to stay out.

However, it is necessary to pack up one holiday before unpacking another. This is the part of decorating I don’t particularly care for. But, it is an important thing to do properly in order to keep all of your treasures safe and sound between holidays.

When it becomes time to pack something away, some of us have a tendency to rush, shove and close. At least that’s how I am. We are so interested in moving on to the next holiday we just want to get this one behind us as soon as possible. We must remind ourselves that we need to use good organizational skills and judgment when it comes to packing and unpacking decorations.

I am going through this exhausting process right now. I have just finished packing away my Halloween decorations and now am busy retrieving boxes of Christmas decorations and starting to unpack them. I realize Thanksgiving is somewhere in the middle of these two seasons, but those turkeys get a little lost around my house somewhere between witches and reindeer!

The part I do like about this process is it allows time to get reacquainted with all of those stored-away treasures. Each one has a special meaning and usually takes you on a stroll down memory lane. I found myself doing just that the other day as I was unpacking.

Some decorations cross the bridge between just being special and complete adoration. One that always does that for me is a small Santa mug my daddy gave me when I was a very little boy. Every time I remove the lid from the box it is stored in and allow light to hit the winking eye on Santa’s face, a smile comes to my lips. It is one of the few things I actually have left that my daddy personally gave me. It is like a piece of gold to me.

Unpacking decorations like reuniting with friendsBox after box allows memories to escape the cardboard walls with the unwrapping of each and every treasure. Tissue paper becomes our friend as we slowly anticipate what lies wrapped within it. The months that have passed between visits seems to make my re-acquaintance all the more special. This is the part of unpacking I really enjoy. I, like most of you, love to take advantage of “after-Christmas” sales. It is a great time to collect wonderful things without having to pay full price. As I have told you many times before, I am all about a discount! The holidays are over when I buy them so I immediately pack away my new discounted purchases and store them for next year.

Since I hardly get to know them before I pack them away, often times I cannot even remember purchasing them. When I unpack them the next year, I am like a kid on Christmas morning opening a present for the first time. The only thing that is different is the box is not wrapped.

As each of you begin to unpack your holiday decorations, please take a few moments to appreciate them. We don’t need to get so busy that we forget to remember who gave them to us or why they are special.

On another note, I already have fielded many questions concerning the annual Christmas tour of our home, so I feel the need to clear things up. We will not be having the tour this November.

Both my wife’s and my schedules are even more hectic this year than in the past. As a result, we simply need to take a break this year from full scale decorating to regroup and to spend more time with family. I realize this will disappoint many of you and I hate this but I hope you understand.

If you would still like to make a donation to help fund local spay and neuter programs, please send it to Humane Services, 1354 Nottingham Drive, Macon, GA 31211. The animals and I will be very thankful for your help!

Holiday programs with Mark:

Ÿ 7 tonight, Millen-Jenkins County Civic Center Theater, Millen. Sponsored by Planters EMC. Free to public

Ÿ 6 p.m. Tuesday, The Peach Palette, Main Street, Fort Valley. Holiday cooking show with tastings. Call (478) 825-3434 for ticket pricing and reservations. Space is limited.

Ÿ 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Christ Church, Walnut Street, Macon. Holiday wreath demonstration. Admission is canned goods for Loaves and Fishes Ministry

Ÿ Nov. 21-23, Mistletoe Market, Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. Join Mark and over 90 other vendors in this annual holiday shopping event. Mark will lead holiday decoration seminars at 2:30 p.m. nov. 22 and 23. Call 987-3085 for times and ticket prices.

Check out Mark’s Web site. Visit for current projects, recipes and lots of other fun stuff for the upcoming holidays.

“The Mark Ballard Show,” Cox Cable Channel 15. Watch Mark’s Thanksgiving show with a special guest. Check local listings for times.

Mark’s on 24 hours a day. Current and archived videos, columns and articles are featured.

Mark Allen Ballard’s column runs each week in The Telegraph. Send your questions to P.O. Box 4232, Macon, GA 31201; fax hem to (478) 474-4930 or call (478) 757-6877.