Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Mouse that Ruined Christmas

Yesterday afternoon, I put my Pandora account on "Carpenters' Christmas," and began to hunt for my Christmas decorations.  In my mind, there is no better way to spend an afternoon in late November than listening to Christmas music, either the Carpenter's or Sandi Patty, and decorating my home for the season.  Even when I was little, it brought inexplicable joy to watch my dad bring everything down from the attic and see my mom put everything in it's place.  I couldn't wait to put everything together, minus the tree, to surprise Sam when he got home.

We have a little storage closet on our back porch where we keep our big bin of decorations, along with all of my ornaments from when I was growing up.  Our family had a tradition where we got a new ornament every year, and many years my Grandma Wuth made Christmas ornaments and sent them to us.  I have quite an impressive collection of ornaments, and each one is very sentimental to me.  If you know me at all, you know that the monetary value of something means nothing to me - it's all about sentiments.  My ornaments are invaluable.  They might be one of the first things I would save in a fire.  I even made a list of all my ornaments when I was quite young (partially because I love making lists) just to be sure I collected each one when I put them away after Christmas.  I would check them off as I took them off the tree, and if one was missing, I dug through my siblings' boxes until I located my lost ornament.  Every time I got a new ornament I'd add it to the list.

I'm just sharing this with you so you can understand my dismay when I opened our storage closet and discovered this:

It appeared to be signs of a mouse.  First I freaked out, but then I thought there was no way a mouse could have gotten inside.  I was wrong.

I strapped on a pair of gloves (and boots, in case the little guy was still close by) and I opened my precious box.

Here's what he thought of my ornament list:

The more I pulled out my ornaments, chewed through and covered in the smell of disgusting mice, the more sad I became.  I knew that even though I can always buy new ornaments, some were irreplaceable.  Then I just kept getting mad.  Who did this mouse think he was, ruining my things like that?  As I kept digging, I kept hoping I did find a live mouse so I could introduce him to these two:

They would have made certain Mr. Mouse paid for his crimes.

My siblings will be happy to learn that one of the casualties was a paper candy cane I made when I was who knows how old.  They always insisted I put it on the back of the tree and I insisted I never throw it away.  Alas, I threw it away yesterday.
Other casualties included a stuffed Christmas bear and my stocking, which I think provided a cozy little home for my little nemesis for awhile.
Also ruined were all the homemade ornaments from my Grandma and one I made myself when I was nine.

Fortunately, a lot were also saved.  My sleeping angel ornament from when I was born, a tiny egg made by a dear friend when I was two, and mine and Sam's "First Christmas" ornament from my mom.



After a time of being very sad, I realized I have so much to be thankful for.  Thankful that it was just a mouse, not a fire, that destroyed my things.  Thankful that though I don't have the evidence anymore, I still have the memories from years and years of many happy Christmases.  Thankful that I have a loving husband who understands just how silly and sentimental I am and loves me anyway, and who was very sorry and sympathetic upon learning of my misfortune.  Thankful that God sent His son many years ago, and that we can celebrate Jesus' birth.

I made my way to the Dollar Store where I found a lot of fun little decorations, made myself a cup of Candy Cane tea from Trader Joe's, and started to make it feel like Christmas in our little home.  No pictures until we get our tree, but then I'll show you all the finished product.  

One who isn't so crazy about all the Christmas fun I'm having and the fun things I found at the Dollar Store?  Willow.

She did not like her Christmas necklace with bells.  Morty was sleepy enough to allow me to put his hat on just long enough for a picture.

And if anyone has any ideas for how to sanitize my surviving ornaments, I would love to hear them!

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry about the damage the mouse did - wow, he must have been hungry to eat through your stocking. The kitties look cute :) Can't wait to see the finished product.

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  2. Oh my goodness this makes me soo sad and now I'm scared to go look at my stuff. The main question is how do you keep a mouse out of a plastic bin? I would think a plastic bin would be a pretty safe place...but apparently not. This scares me.

    I'm super impressed by your perspective, though I would not be surprised to hear that you shed some tears in this process. Your positive and thankful spirit inspire me.

    No Christmas decorations for us this year since we are leaving the 14th and not returning to SB until the beginning of January. So sad, I guess we will have to take lots of evening drives to look at lights and christmas trees in peoples windows!

    Miss you and can only imagine how beautiful Oregon is decorated during Christmas! =)

    love to you and hate to the mouse.

    JulieAnn

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  3. What a horrible little mouse!!

    On a side note, we do that same tradition of our parents giving us a new ornament every year AND I have a pieces of paper listing out all of my ornaments by year too. I started a new paper once we got married because now my mom gives us couple's ornaments :)

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