As I’m writing this my Christmas tree is still up. This is an anomaly for me. My usual routine is to ring in the New Year with a house that has been restored to its pre-holiday status.
I’ve always thought of it as starting the year with a clean slate and clean carpet because once the tree comes down it’s time to get out the beloved carpet shampooer and go to town on the area rugs. Yes, I’m in a long-term relationship with my Bissell.
Now excuse me while I veer off topic but I feel the number one baby present for any new parent should be the gift of a carpet shampooer with car attachments. This is because if you make it through a day without a kid spilling, spitting, or any other kind of projectile fluid disbursal then it’s a cause for a celebration and by that I mean a trip to Target without the kids.
Okay, enough about the perfect baby gift and back to Christmas trees. I know there are many varied opinions and customs about how long you should keep your tree up and with more people having artificial trees you could seriously never take your tree down.
That prospect makes me shudder because I’m a firm believer in giving each holiday it’s due to celebrate it’s unique specialness. For example, and I know this is becoming unfashionable, but I stand behind my decision to give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves and not eat turkey and stuffing with an array of ceramic Santa Clauses peeking at me.
My one holiday at a time philosophy induced an anxiety attack several years ago at Disneyland where unbeknownst to me the classic Haunted Mansion had been reimagined into the Tim Burton film the “Nightmare Before Christmas.”
This basically meant that Halloween and Christmas had been robustly intertwined. Ghosts haunting Christmas trees, gingerbread men and candy corn (two great tastes that don’t go together) and possessed ornaments it was all too much.
Half-way through the ride I had to put my head between my legs and take deep breaths. Fortunate, after eating a Disneyland churro I was able to rebound.
All of this is why I’m a little concerned that I haven’t taken down my tree yet. In my world of holiday celebrations Christmas is officially over once I peel the cellophane off my new calendar. Rest assured though I’m not a Grinch who takes their tree down on December 25.
Oh yes, I know several people who take their tree down on December 25. I have one friend whose former mother-in-law would literally tear down Christmas – like pack it all away the minute the last present was open.
Can you imagine? I told this friend to watch her back because anyone who would demolish any sight of Christmas that aggressively on Christmas morning had in my book serial killer tendencies.
As this friend’s marriage eventually deteriorated she told me she would always be sure she was the last person to open a present and then take an inordinately long amount of time, ever so slowly tearing the paper, admiring the bow etc. just to tweak her mother-in-law who was chomping at the bit to get that tree down.
Honesty, I don’t know if that took courage or if my friend had a death wish.
As for me I’m conflicted about taking everything down. It’s been a rough year and all the holiday décor has been a welcome distraction. I don’t know if I’m ready to face 2021 without the buffer of Christmas.
But soon, very soon, mainly because I have a real tree it’s all going to have to come down and I’ll be left with a clean house devoid of Santa Claus, sparkle and red and green garlands.
My hope is the magic of Christmas will still linger as I embark on a new year filled with hope but still overwhelmed with uncertainty.