Saturday, January 03, 2015

Christmas, Africa style - when do you take down your tree... and what is your cleaning thing?

I usually wait til the 6th Jan or the day of the kids' half year party. But this year I can't wait.

I've been taking a few things down every night - this was mostly an effort so that Nanny M could clean properly.

Speaking of which, have we spoken about the nanny yet?

She is very sweet, but probably too submissive for me. She means well, but we don't click and she doesn't get my style. So I have to tell her things over and over... and I've even typed up a manual for her... because she's forgetful...

She is obsessive about mopping floors so the floors are pristine but the dust bunnies are hopping up a storm.

We had a once-a-week nanny about 12 years ago called Bea. In fact, she helped us move down to this house too. Bea was amazing - fierce, bossy (great for the twice-a-month gardener) and super fussy (which is really good when the person is cleaning your house). Bea's thing was wooden floors. Oh my, she loved it when our floors were sparkling and shiny.

Do you have a thing?

I have a clean bathrooms thing. And a no clutter on surfaces thing (actually that's my main thing). And an everything in its place thing. I have a lot of things, it seems :) 

What is your thing?

In more current news, I received a New Year's Day SMS at about 6:30 pm from Nanny M resigning (yes, she was due at work the next morning). If you're counting, we've had 2 nannies in two months, not counting Nanny S....

Scramble, scramble, scramble (this stuff is annoying for me - I won't bore you with reading about it too)

PS I'm counting down the days til Nanny S comes back (56 if you're counting)


  1. I am taking down our tree tomorrow...usually i start getting irritated with it after new year. I have a THING with clutter...I can't handle things just dropped as people walk in the door...I can't handle things put unto windowsills and on top of kithchen cupboards. Things were all in place for 2 weeks until B came back home yesterday. Today they clutter nearly sent me over the edge. I REALLY need to sit her down and draw boundaries! Vent over!

    1. oh me too! The clutter sends me mental :)

  2. One wonders if your "things" make it difficult for people to work for/with you. If you come across in person as you do in written word, I can imagine it would be challenging not to feel condescended to much of the time.

    1. Hmm, Paula, I considered your comment, but I don't think it's the case. Normally people stay with us for years and years. Interesting that you feel I'm condescending - I've never heard that before.

  3. My thing... stuff. I just can't stand it. I take a deep breathe the day before Christmas and then as an excuse for a New Year Tree, we take down all the decorations on New Year's Eve... so that they can wake up to a few consumable treats on the tree in the morning. We have a small party, they discover some new stationary in the tree and a couple of treats, the tree is stripped of any adornments in a flash!!! There after, the empty tree is tossed in a far corner of the garden until it is dry enough to braai. A week of the year in which I turn a blind eye... and before I hyperventilate the clutter of Christmas is back in its box... Done and dusted!!!

    1. That is such a cool tradition. My house is all non-Christmasified now (except I realised all the Christmas CDs are still out :))

  4. I've told you before of Gil's epiphany rule when it comes to un-decorating. It kills me every year because there a 7ft tree in the middle of my living, dropping needles every time someone takes a breath! [We get live trees.]
    I'm with you on things being put away and clutter free. My rule: Everything has a place, or a home in the trash can. Gil is slowly catching on, because he was rummaging through the trash for a book a few weeks back. I've become relentless as he is a 'pile-er' which to me is another form of hoarding. Ack!
    I so wish we lived closer. I would certainly take the kids and the five of them would have a great time together! How long till you give nanny M a firm talking to or replace her? I can't see wasting time and money to be aggravated by her performance.

    1. Your ginormous tree would make me go mental if it dropped needles all the time.

      Love what you said - My rule: Everything has a place, or a home in the trash can.

      Nanny M resigned and I have a new nanny who popped in for a few hours of training on Sat morning. First full day tomorrow - we all hold our breaths :)

  5. I don't think I have a cleaning thing. I like to put away my own clothes though...if someone else does it, it never ends up where I want it.

    This year our tree went down before new years. I don't care...somewhere in Jan is fine for me, but N wanted her ballet medallion and it was under all the tinsel and ornaments, so we packed up to get to it.

    Eep! About the nanny business. I guess she also didn't feel like it was a good fit? Good luck coming up with an alternative in this last stretch.

  6. I have a bathroom "thing" as well - cannot stand a dirty bathroom! Also my granite tops in my kitchen - they need to SHINE.

    I normally only take the tree down in the new year but last year it was down on the 27th December - I just needed my house back to normal.

    Good luck with the new nanny - 56 days will be over before you know it!


  7. Our tree comes down on NYE. It's usually part of cleanup. Have I ever told you that I do a proper house clean up and that I wash ALL THE THINGS on NYE? I just can't go into a new year with a dirty house!
    Also. My thing = clean spaces. I HATE clutter on spaces. Also. Unmade beds. My kids know that they MUST make their beds in the morning - it's not-negotiable. Walking into a room with an unmade bed drives me batty and makes me feel extra tired.
    ps...I DEFINITELY don't think that you're condescending and I hope that you have been fortunate with FORTUNATE!


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