Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday – I Tried

I tried.  I really tried.  I made it longer than I ever have.  Baby steps, I guess.
          
Sunday seemed like an extended Christmas, what with it being the Lord’s day too and all.  The Christmas tree stood an extra day.
            
I planned to leave the Christmas tree up until New Year’s.  That’s what Grace’s family does.  That’s what Ray’s family does.  That was what Calvin's family did.  I was going to try and let their tradition stand.
            
But . . .
            
I started tidying the kitchen by combining Christmas treats and putting them away in the red snack bucket that sits on top of the refrigerator.  In order for the snack bucket to look its best, it was time for the snowwoman doll that carries a load of twigs and branches with the scarf around her head to come down.  I moved her to the top of the piano.  Next I washed the smudged frosting out of the cookie jar which led to making sure the Christmas spoon holder on the top of the stove wasn’t hiding any gravy.  As each seasonal item was cleaned I thought how easy it would be to just wrap them and put them away.  Since the Christmas tree doesn’t stand in the kitchen it was still safe, it could stand.
            
I moved the nativity picture from the refrigerator then began to sort the Christmas cards in the dining room, making a pile to send to Abe of people he knows.  Which led to emptying my new chicken wire basket that Ande gave me, which meant it needed a new home – the center of the table.  But positively I was going to stop at that point.
            
And then the phone rang and I sat in the chair that faced the mantle.  The longer I looked at the mantle the more I missed the mantle clock being in its rightful place.  The mantle clock had been moved to the top of the piano when we put up the garland.  The phone conversation carried on . . .
            
If I took the garland down, moved the clock, and moved the snowwoman doll again, the tree would still be up, but the piano and mantle would look clean just like the kitchen.  The phone conversation carried on . . .
            
Down came the red berry and picks of white from the garland.  Down came the garland.  But now the Joy banner looked funny hanging from the mantle without garland.  Down came the banner.  Still the tree was safe.  Still the phone conversation carried on . . .
            
I sat back down in the chair and looked at the clean dining room, the clean piano, the clean mantle.  The tree.  It needed to go.  Without the backdrop of the garland lights the tree looked naked and drab.  The phone conversation carried on . . .
            
Down came the tree.
            
Still the conversation carried on.  It was with Ray.  He finally asked, “What are you doing?” 
            
“I just took down the tree.” 
            
“You are Cali’s mother aren’t you.”
            
“I am.  But Ray . . . it stood until two days after Christmas.  A time or two our trees didn't even make it to Christmas day.  The needles were so dry I was afraid they would catch fire.  And a few times our trees came down Christmas day.  I don’t know that one of our trees have ever made it two days after Christmas.  That’s what the 26th is for.”
            
Grace came into the room after I hung up the phone.  She took one look at the clean empty corner and said in her half-laugh, half-cry voice, “Sad.”

I tried.

But the fresh evergreen arrangement from Calvin's mom is safe.  Even if I have to remove the red bow and berry picks and replace them with Easter eggs and pink ribbon I promise it will stand.  

12 comments:

Whidget said...

I take them down on the 26th every year. This year I really wanted to take it down on Christmas afternoon but I was tired. We made it to TWO days after Christmas this year too--the 26th was a Sunday!! :-) I LOVE putting up the decorations, but I HATE having the house cluttered a day longer than necessary!! My family always left stuff up until New Years, too. It just makes me bonkers, so down it goes. Eli really freaked out and "didn't want Christmas to be over." It's just what kids do, but don't tell Grace I said that... ;)

love you!

michelle said...

Huh! We leave ours up until New Year's, too. But mostly because I just hate the chore of putting it all away. If I could just snap my fingers...

Cassidy said...

How funny. My mom takes hers down the day after Christmas too. I still have mine up, but it is bugging me. hahaa. I don't want it to be over, that's why it's still up, but oh I would so love to have my house back in order. hahaa. Maybe all i need is a long phone conversation...

Nikki said...

I wish I were as tidy and efficient as you are Jane! I'm inspired now. But would my mother-in-law be appalled and offended if I took it down while she's visiting? hmm.... Maybe I'll just start with the cookie jar, placemats, pot holders, and mantle. heh hehe

tina said...

Jane, you are too funny!

Barb said...

Our tree made it to the 27th this year. Feels so good to take it down.

Emma J said...

I hate having the tree gone. Growing up it always came down on my birthday (New Years) or the day before, but sometimes my mom and dad would cut the top off and put the small top of the tree up in my room as my own birthday tree.

Now I leave it up unil Jan 5th which is Twelfth Night and the traditional last day of Christmas before King's Day on the 6th (this is my erudite acdemic excuse for prolonging the lovely lights as long as I can and one of the few truly useful things I gained from studying medieval lit.)

Jill said...

This is interesting to me, but we always keep our Christmas decorations up until after New Year's. I've never even considered taking it down right after Christmas. I think we all enjoy the Christmas lights too much to see them go so soon.

deidra said...

My parents don't take theirs down until it sprouts out. They got it up late this year, so it's just starting.

Once I visit taught a girl who had their fire hazard up until about March. She updated decorations each month; it made me laugh each month.

Our tree stays up until I get the motivation-- but I love having an uncluttered house again1

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

I also take the tree down ASAP. We took our down last night and the kids woke up this morning and hardly noticed it was missing!

Kathy said...

That sounds a little like "if you give a moose a muffin". Or OCD! Just kidding!

Julie said...

Mine only made it to the 27th this year! And it didn't go up until the 15th! It was a record for the shortest time up at the Phipps' home. We borrowed a little Charlie Brown tree and I was just sick of hoping it wouldn't fall over so I took it down. I forgot you take yours down so soon. Great job holding out. I need some of your organizational skills here! Thanks so much as well for the gift! Ty and Michelle delivered it 2 days ago! You are too good to us!