Next week, when you're winding down from Christmas, here are some suggestions for how to make merry as you clean up, put stuff away, let some go and organize your life
Have a tree-stripping party: Decorating that 8-foot-tall Douglas fir in the living room is a worthy centerpiece to any Christmas party, so why not make the most of putting away the ornaments and garlands.
Invite friends over to take down lights and help dispose of the tree. For the most rabid Christmas fans, this is a sad exercise in bidding the season adieu. Use it as an opportunity to gather with seasonal visitors. It also lets you polish off, without guilt, the last of the holiday libations and all those Christmas cookies.
Dispose of the tree responsibly: In Lexington, Christmas trees can be recycled with yard waste, according to the city's website, Lexingtonky.gov. Put trees on the curb on your normal collection day. Make sure all ornaments and tinsel are removed. If your tree is not collected on your normal trash day, contact LexCall at 311 or (859) 425-2255.
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If you live in an apartment or own a business, call LexCall for information on Christmas tree pickup.
For residents who do not have city garbage collection, the Division of Streets and Roads will pick up Christmas Trees.
Have an exchange party: Overloaded with anoraks? Got one too many copies of the latest Game of Thrones DVD? If so, organize an Island of Misfit Toys exchange party.
Prove it's never too late to unload — or score — a cool present by inviting guests to bring unwanted, rewrapped gifts. This is where all that recycled wrapping paper can come in handy.
Each guest picks a number out of a fishbowl to determine the order in which he or she will choose from the pile of presents. To ensure everyone leaves happy, you can encourage gift-swapping for those unsatisfied with their prizes. And try not to give away presents you received from any of the guests.
Reuse wrapping paper: Not all wrapping paper is equal. Some art supply stores sell imported sheets of printed paper that look more like high-end wallpaper. The number of uses for the old paper is limited only by the imagination. Use it to cover the kids' textbooks. Wrap paper around the stems of a bouquet to enliven a gift of flowers. If the paper is still unblemished and relatively unwrinkled, consider taking an iron to it and reusing it for a future gift.
Work that home entertainment center: Catch up on all those shows you've stored away on your DVR so you can clear the memory and start fresh in 2013. Or organize a marathon viewing session to get up to speed on favorite TV or film series.
Watching an entire block of episodes, whether it's Downton Abbey or Homeland, is an experience akin to ripping through a beefy Dickens novel. Go crazy programming a Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn triple bill or a Dark Knight marathon. Or if you prefer a little blood with your eggnog, check out the killer Santa in Silent Night, Deadly Night or Joan Collins fending off a psychotic St. Nick in the 1972 version of Tales From the Crypt.