January is less blue if you ignore the fact that Christmas is over

It’s January the 12th, and it’s probably time to admit that the Christmas holidays are over. The last discounted mince pie is looking lonely; the decorations are down.

Well, the baubles are, sort of. They’re on their way upstairs: a perfectly simple task that will take months to complete.

The tree itself isn’t down, although it’s lost both it’s sprucy scent and innumerable needles. It’s been the subject of the annual, existential debate: what on earth should happen to it now?, and in New Year fashion (the one, at least, in which aims and goals are not immediately met with derision), plans have been made, but action has yet to be taken.

The mantelpiece display isn’t down yet either, and neither are the fairy lights, draped artistically over paintings we’ve yet to hang. They have a slightly assaulting, blueish tinge, and aren’t really suitable for use all year round, but in reality they will probably stay there, ready for cosy evenings when the Real Winter of Tabloid Prediction hits, or else next Christmas — whichever comes first.

The good news is that the Christmas cards have been coming down since they arrived. And not because I’ve been dusting — trust me — but because the teenage-ninja-kitten-cats keep knocking them over.

They, the cards, were on Level Four: the very highest shelf of the IKEA storage solution. Partial solution.

The boys take their catnaps on Level Three, because they like to survey their human bondservants from a height equal to their intellect. Level Two used to hold porridge and flour and a crate of minor kitchen implements one has no conventional room for, but cannot contemplate living without. Now it just holds memories, because level two has been taken off and re-purposed into something to do with the bike corner, which is reasonably self-explanatory in that it’s the corner that houses the bike.

Which really means that Level Three is now Level Two, and Level Four is Level Three, but regardless of semantics, it’s not safe from swipes or bops or general cat attacks.

There’s one card still standing, a couple have fallen over; there’s one hanging off the shelf. Another lies face-down on a chair — which no right to be there, come to think of it— and still more (two, let’s not get above ourselves) are discarded on the floor. A metaphor for January if ever there was one.

It’s a good job, then, that the decor is coming down in stages. Because (at least for the time being) it doesn’t actually feel like prolonging the tedious, post-festive clean-up and comedown, but rather an inspired way of extending the Christmas holidays. Something I, for one, am all for. Until Blue February, I guess.