The Big Holiday Clean-up

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Before the stockings were hung with care, and the tree was laboriously put in its stand before being decorated with twinkly, colorful lights and heart-warming, happy ornaments, came the big clean.

Though the final shiny Christmas decorations are dazzling to see, the preparation to get ready for them is another story.

This weekend, my family moved furniture, vacuumed corners that hadn’t been seen in awhile, mopped, dusted and then began the holiday decorating.

It needed to be done, but honestly cleaning – that is to say a full house cleaning, top to bottom – is not my thing. Seems I’m not alone.

An opinion piece in the NY Times this weekend title The Case for Filth discusses just how cleaning and housework is a relevant choice, meaning that the perception of housework is very subjective. The article’s main focus is on how men, despite having taken on many more tasks when it comes to parenting and cooking than the generation before them, have not taken to helping with the housework. 

Women tend to clean more and have penchant for wanting a house that is tidy and clean. I believe, however, most men prefer it too, they may just not feel the same impetous to make it happen as women do. Why? Because there are so many other things in the world to do than spend time cleaning, constantly. I’m here to say, I’m on that train. I’d rather be outside, hiking, working in the garden, traveling or enjoying life. 

I love a clean house, but my cleaning is done in little spurts. Toilets need cleaning? OK, I’ll do it while my son is taking a bath. Or maybe that load of laundry sits and extra day because I’d rather go to the park with my son or take a daytrip with friends.

That said, I am looking forward to going home to my tidy, fresh, pine-scent-filled house tonight. And though there may be clothes that need folding, they may have to wait while I read a book to my 4-year-old under our twinkly Christmas tree.