The Christmas Tree
This tale is probably the best way to introduce myself and let you get a basic understanding of who I am.
I leave my Christmas tree up longer than anyone else I know. Not just a week or two longer. No, more like a month or two longer than anyone else I know. I’m talking the first weekend of February at the earliest. Why? It’s not a cultural or religious thing. It’s not that I’m too exhausted from the holidays. It’s not even that I’m too lazy. I just love my tree. Actually, it’s three trees. There’s one in the living room, one in the dining room and one in the sun room. I painstakingly decorate them. It takes hours. I can’t dismantle them just because their holiday is technically over. Before you judge me think about this: I’ve seen houses more decked out for Valentine’s Day than for Christmas!
I’ve had friends call claiming to be the neighborhood “Christmas tree police”. They even had out-of-town friends call and harass us (me) about when the tree was coming down. I have to tell you, this doesn’t bother me. Last year, a friend of mine asked what I had done over the weekend (the first weekend of February, yes). I told her she didn’t really want to know, but I told her anyway. As you can imagine, she was surprised.
On the flip side, a friend of mine not only puts her tree up at the last minute (not Christmas Eve, but a few days before), she takes it down the day after Christmas most years. When she’s feeling particularly festive, it stays up until the day after New Year’s Day. Come to think of it, she doesn’t even put up her tree; her father does it for her! Is this someone who I’m going to let tell me when to take down my tree? No!
One of the “Christmas tree police ‘officers’” is so scarred by his childhood Christmas tree that he still puts only white lights and a star on his tree. No ornaments are allowed, because his (Jewish) step-mother put so much on the tree-including tons of tinsel. I can understand parents who scar their children over things like eating liver or brussel sprouts, but not the Christmas tree! It’s just wrong.
I guess now would be a good time to mention that only the actual Christmas trees and decorations might come down on that first weekend of February. The “winter” decorations: pine trees, snowflakes, snowmen, etc., stay up until… March 21, the first day of spring of course!
Last year, our trees came down on February 18. That’s a month before the deadline! However, for the first time, I had to dust the ornaments as I removed them from the trees. I digress, that’s pretty bad.
This year, we skied every other weekend, so the trees didn’t get disassembled until the third weekend in March. It was obvious that I control the universe a little bit, when the sun came out and the temperature soared to around seventy degrees!
Most people don’t understand my enthusiasm for “winter decorating”. I always say: “after the tree comes down, it’s just a long, boring, cold winter”. So, when your tree is down, has been for weeks, and you’re bored and cold, drive by my house and see if my twinkling tree in the front picture window doesn’t warm you up and entertain you.