A re-purposed holiday

Every year around this time, the gluttony of the holidays in December (new toys, clothes, electronics) is followed by the desire to start anew in January – to rid oneself of useless exercise equipment (somehow that just immediately jumps to mind), bread makers and Chia Pets.

This year, the word “collusion” is particularly prominent in the news. And that gave me a “wonderfully dreadful idea,” to paraphrase the Grinch and Dr. Seuss.

I decided to look around my house and do a little holiday colluding—nothing illegal of course, just an insignificant secret agreement between myself and the junk I harbor to make everyone’s holiday dreams come true—there’s no crime in that.

I’ve got an idea for those unused keys in the kitchen junk drawer that will give the Joan Rivers Classics Collection on QVC a run for its money. And you won’t even recognize the original purpose of those bags newspapers come in when I get through with them! And grandma’s old embroidery, which I’ve been harboring, rat-packing, hoarding—take your pick—in the closet? I’ve finally had to accept that antimacassars are not going to make a comeback, and I’ve got a plan for them, too.

As I make my way around the house, uncovering caches of plastic strawberry containers, twist-ties, coffee cans, and more, I start to realize that A) I have a problem, and B) the internet might be a good resource to consult about this.

When I Google “repurposing Christmas ideas,” a number of websites pop up with terrific suggestions offering things I’ve never thought of. Maybe I need to start eating Pringles potato chips, because there seem to be an inordinate number of ways to reuse those cans—from a child’s choo-choo to a bird feeder to an Advent calendar. I’d have to eat 24 containers of Pringles for that last one, and I don’t think I have the fortitude for it, even with all the green onion dip available in stores right now. Maybe the last tube of the calendar could hold a bottle of Tums.

As I walk around the house eyeballing knick-knacks and other underused paraphernalia, I’ve noticed my husband growing more protective of his things, like his sock drawer. “Um, I use those,” he said to me the other day as I eyed some not-too-worn tube socks (just add some googly eyes I thought, and that’s a hand puppet!).

A lot of these ideas can even help an individual get organized. A person who might have a hard time throwing away a Tic-Tac container could use it for a bobby pin holder. Or, he or she could glue old Mason jars (the ones he/she never got around to actually using for canning) to hold candlesticks (the ones he/she never got around to using for a shabby chic-ish centerpiece) to create clever containers that artfully hold smaller collections of what some might consider rubbish: paperclips, rubber bands and bottlecaps.

I’m not sure I’ve come any closer to whittling down my junk or my Christmas list, but now I’m looking ahead to January. It only takes four Pringles cans and some yellow duct tape to make an attractive goal post for your super bowl party. I better get crunching!

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