(Strip Number 7252, Original Publication Date, 27 December 1987)
Panel 1: It's probably around nine or ten on Christmas morning because we find John and Elly packing wrapping paper and bows into boxes with the false hope of disposing of them.
Panel 2: John dumps one such box outside.
Panel 3: As the two of them take the garbage to the curb, Elly tells them not to do so because she claims that she can still use them.
Panel 4: When asking how he can through all of this good stuff away, she utilizes the modifier "honestly" the way she always does and questions John's intellect and good will.
Panel 5: She states that the bows she's holding can be repurposed for weddings and birthdays.
Panel 6: Also, the perfectly good cardboard boxes can be used for mailing things and storing other things.
Panel 7: She then tells the two of them to take all of that stuff to the basement instead of wasting it.
Panel 8: As John beholds all of the other good stuff stored away from previous Christmases that has the useful purpose of "gathering dust" and "being a fire hazard", he glumly mutters "So near and yet so far."
Summary: The 'joke', of course, is that they just take up space in the basement because she never does use them. They just end up getting hauled away to the dump when Mike and Deanna bullshit their way into taking over the Pattermanse.