By Mary Lynn Bruny

Selling during the holidays: It makes a lot of sense, especially in our currently hot market with most sales occurring quickly and near asking price. During the holidays, buyers have more time to look at houses (while now following strict COVID safety guidelines). Many homes look especially appealing this time of year with decorations creating a charming holiday scene. If your house is one of these and you want to move, you should consider selling. Our house, however, is not in selling form this time of year. Matter of fact, our house looks like Santa’s workshop where overworked elves are near nervous breakdowns.

Let’s start with the Christmas tree. When our kids were growing up, I put on gobs of ornaments after drowning the tree in lights. But now I find with each year I get lazier and put on less stuff. In some future year I’ll be down to five ornaments and one strand of half burned-out lights.

“I think the tree looks more natural this way,” I tell my befuddled spouse who has a concerned look on his face. Not sure a potential buyer would see it so much as “natural” as “sadly lacking.”

It’s probably also not a good selling feature that our cat likes to crawl up said tree. Having a 14-pound screeching feline flying out of a Christmas tree as you walk by is probably not a positive experience for potential buyers.

Then there are all our holiday mess zones. First, our guest room is wrapping central, with bags, paper, ribbons, tags and bows strewn about in a muddled mess. Try as I do to keep all these items in some coherent order, the rest of my family and our cat does not share my organizational values. It isn’t the holidays unless all rolls of curling ribbon – which start out neatly wound – become jumbled together in an unusable mess that can only become a cat toy. How does this happen each year? It’s a holiday miracle, at least from our cat’s perspective.

Additionally there are the production areas where the overworked elves are cranking out goods. For some ridiculous reason most years I think that it’s a great idea to make holiday cards. Thus our dining room table turns into a manufacturing line for 70 cards made with love, sometimes frustration and usually cursing.

And for yet some other reason I probably require therapy to understand I also feel the need to make holiday gifts, as do our offspring. These projects cover the surfaces of the kitchen and my office, and are usually still under production until Christmas Eve. I think this is why elves are so short: stress and adrenaline stunt their growth.

For showings you’re supposed to make your cupboards look neat and barely filled, like the work from the psychotic minds of Martha Stewart and Marie Kondo. During the holidays, our kitchen cupboards and refrigerator typically are the opposite: They’re over stuffed with items piled precariously atop each other, threatening to fall out each time a door is opened. Again, probably not a smart selling tactic.

Finally there’s the bane of the holiday, cookie sprinkles. Like glitter, once these are let loose from their containers they seem everlastingly in one’s house. Our sons somehow fling these far and wide while baking. How the heck do they get to the powder room floor? Carried in by slippers or the cat’s fur? Another holiday mystery.

It might be a super hot market, but I’m sure most buyers are looking for a calm, pleasant vibe in a house (perhaps like yours), not the chaotic scene at our place that to us is “home for the holidays.”

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn is a Colorado freelance writer. Contact her at [email protected].