Mark Ballard

Christmas decorations bring wonderful memories with them

Mark Ballard
Mark Ballard

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. It is an important thing to do properly to keep all of your treasures safe and sound between holidays.

When it’s time to pack something away, some of us rush, shove and close. At least that’s how I am. We are so interested in moving on to the next holiday as soon as possible. However, we must remind ourselves 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 am now in the process of 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 lost around my house somewhere between witches and reindeer!

The part I do like about this process is that it allows time to get reacquainted with all of your 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 being completely adored. 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 in which it is stored and allow light to hit the winking eye on Santa’s face, a smile comes to mine! It is one of the few things I have that my daddy personally gave me. It is like a piece of gold to me.

Santa mug given to Mark by his dad. Mark Ballard Special to The Telegraph

Box after box allow memories to escape the confines of 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 purchase these items so I immediately pack away my new discounted purchases.

Since I hardly get to know them before I pack them away, 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 difference is that this box is not wrapped.

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and it will be more than happy to officially usher in Christmas. Christmas has so many memories for me that I can hardly wait for it to arrive. The beautiful decorations I’ve collected over the years are like special friends. Each of them come with a memory that makes me smile and sometimes even shed a happy tear.

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 we forget to remember who gave them to us or the past celebrations that make them special. There is nothing like a walk down Memory Lane when it is lined with peppermint and holly, sprinkled with glitter and smells of pine and spruce.

▪  Join Mark at Mistletoe Market at the Perry Ag Center next weekend, November 17-19. Mark will have his 2017 holiday merchandise and much more! He will be creating and entertaining on stage on Friday and Saturday at noon and on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Mark Ballard’s column runs each week in The Telegraph. Send your questions or comments to 3514 Ridge Avenue, Macon, GA 31204; call 478-757-6877; email; follow him at creates; or become a subscriber to Mark’s Facebook page.