I believe I can say with absolute confidence that we have never, EVER, in 15+ years of marriage, EVER had a Christmas tree up after New Years Day. Now that’s partly because until about three years ago, we had only live trees, and live trees only stay, well, live, so long after being unceremoniously yanked out of the ground. Add to that, we tend to get our trees the weekend of Thanksgiving, or at the latest, the weekend after Thanksgiving, and we are ready to take that baby down on December 26th. And I admit, I do love the clean, spacious feeling of the house after the Christmas decorations are taken down. I’m usually pretty eager to get to that point once the festivities are over.
Even these past few years with both a live and a fake tree, we’ve managed to have everything taken down and put away by New Years Day every year until now. Yes, we traveled, but that’s nothing unusual. Typically we would have taken the live tree down before our trip and the fake one down the day we got back. We really have no excuse whatsoever, except sheer laziness and apathy.
I know you Catholics out there will have something to say about Epiphany, but I don’t even know what that IS. We Protestants are pretty much done with Christmas by New Years Day, and those of us who don’t take down our decorations by then are either lazy, procrastinators, or just enjoy looking at them, but it has nothing to do with the religious calendar.
In our house, we have a thing about having Christmas decorations up after Christmas. It’s really my husband’s thing, but I’ve adopted it as it fits in perfectly with my all-or-nothing personality. Our first year of marriage, when he wanted to take the tree down the day after Christmas, I happily obliged, and it has become a tradition as sacred as our excursion to chop down our family tree.
But this year? For some reason I am still enjoying my tree. I say MY tree, because the one still standing is my fancy tree, the one in the photograph that I’ve shared at every possible opportunity since I took it the first week of December. You know the one. Let’s see it one more time, shall we?
Ahhh yes, there it is.
That is my view from my office, by the way. I’m looking at it right now, and it’s still dark enough outside that the lights are reflecting off the wood floor, just as they were when I took that picture a month ago.
Every morning, I wake up when the house is dark and the children are still nestled all snug in their beds. I throw on a sweatshirt and walk down the dark hallway and plug in the lights on the banister. Then when I get to the bottom of the stairs, I flip on the Christmas tree.
It’s magical every time.
I can’t seem to get tired of it. And I think to myself, Just one more day. I’ll take it down tomorrow.
And the next day it happens again, and I promise myself just one more morning of the magic.
Now there are green and red plastic storage bins sitting all around it, waiting for me to return the ornaments to their rightful homes, but I can’t quite bring myself to start taking it apart.
Maybe just one more day. I’ll take it down tomorrow.