January 20, 2008

Do I Really Have to Kill Christmas?

Today was supposed to be the big day. January 2oth was the arbitrary deadline I gave myself to take down the Christmas decorations. With only 53 minutes left to go the lights on the artificial tree are still shining merrily and I'm reassessing my commitment.

My husband is one of those people who thinks Christmas should come down on New Year's day but taking down Christmas isn't one of my talents. I never wake up and think, 'gee, this house looks too cheerful. I'm sure sick of looking at all those pretty Christmas cards. And what is that stinky wreath doing on my front door?' True, there is some trick to maintaining Christmas almost a month after the fact. My three year old has been pulling down any Christmas cards she can reach from the walls. The 2 foot Christmas tree I bought for the kitchen died while we were in Texas over the holidays but it didn't loose its color. If I keep it very still, the pine leaves won't shake off and it still resembles a symbol of life. The red and green paper chains I strung around the dining room chandelier got stuck in the broom handle and came down ignominiously last week. But nothing is going willingly.

How long is too long to keep up the decorations? Is there a way to do it that isn't completely depressing? I always find that the day the tree comes down is a bleak one. Is it wrong to keep the tree up all year? Because unless I'm compelled to do otherwise, I just might.

25 comments:

Heffalump said...

Redecorate the tree with hearts and its a valentine tree...then with flowers and its a spring tree, then with seashells and tiny beach balls and its a summer tree...you get the idea.
If it makes you feel better our tree is still up too, and our indoor Christmas lights have been up for the last three years.

amelia bedelia said...

hmm. i personally like taking down the christmas decorations - makes the house feel clean and organized, uncluttered...etc. Feels like a fresh start to the new years. But i like the seasonal tree idea. Make it work, and post pictures, too!

Adrienne said...

Um... Jan 20th is too long. At our house, Christmas lights come down at Three Kings Day (Jan 6th.) If Valentines featuring the Christmas blockbusters are being sold in the grocery store, it's time to take down the tree.

Of course, that would be on years when we decorate. This year? Not so much with the decorating (either here in Indiana or my parent's place in Texas.)

Karen said...

I've heard of heffalump's suggestion and contemplated it one year. Personally I hold to amelia bedelia's view that it makes the house seem cleaner and brighter. I look forward to it coming down almost as much as I look forward to it going up.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I'm with Karen. I cannot wait to put all the pretty stuff up (and only manage to wait until midnight on Halloween), but I'm always ready to take it down when the time comes, usually around January 10th. Mind you, one of the five trees might be, you know, maybe still sort of up and stuff, but that's just a rumor.

Magirk said...

Ours comes down around Jan 7th, or the weekend after my birthday. But I agree with amelia bedelia - putting it all away makes me feel refreshed, having things cleaned up, organized, in their place - like a new beginning for the new year!

If you want decorations up all year, more power to you. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with it, except that a live (or dead now) tree is probably a fire hazard. :(

emmy said...

My decorations are still up, the tree just looks so pretty with the lights twinkling. Of course another reason my decorations are up is my laziness. I agree with the seasonally decorated tree. Take the Christmas decor down and immediately decorated for Valentines day or winter decorations like snowflakes then your house won't seem empty.

Anonymous said...

take it down tacky ladies! put it up earlier next year, geesh. Put some hearts up.

Boy Mom said...

We go for the heart decoration idea. I even went so far this year as to hot glue leftover candy canes into heart shapes and hang them on my heart tree. By the time Valentine Day is over I am finally ready for that clean, uncluttered feeling.

S'mee said...

I am at a loss to find anyone who enjoys the whole Christmas tree gig as much as I do. (This year I only had up 1- 10', 3- 6', a half dozen+ of the 3' varieties...all in two rooms.I just ran out of time for the usual 20+ extravaganza...sigh.)

I always have a difficult time tearing down the twinkles and the sparkles that make my holiday what it is. Then there is the folding and packing away all the finery on the tables and hearth, etc. Yeah, it's depressing. I like me some glitter and silver.

But in the sparseness of the newly cleaned rooms comes that freshness of a new year ---and all that rot.

The flip side of this is that when the tree is left up all year it is beautiful, but doesn't have near the WOW factor it does when it just appears one chilly day in early December.

When the little ones get "used to" your Christmas tree, it somehow loses magic.

My only advise it this, sweet HOLLY-wood, put it away now so that it is AMAZING when you see it again next year. Celebrate it with a bang and make it a tradition to go overboard.

This doesn't mean that you can't go out and gear up for every other holiday...I'm all over that hearts and flowers party that's comin' up! Got me a new Mercury glass heart just the other day!

Just Jenny said...

If you wait long enough you won't have to put them up again this year! Add plus: I would say by the sounds of it you won't be depressed from looking at your Christmas Decorations a little while longer. Mine came down a few weeks ago, leaving my house looking bare. My children wanted to know when the next holiday was coming so I would put up some more decorations. Think they are sending me a message?

Just Jenny said...

P.S.

I like heffalump's ideas!

Janell said...

"Janell's Book of Rules for Herself" states "Christmas decorations shall be put away by the weekend following Epiphany/12th Day/Russian Orthodox Christmas/Jan 6th."

Now, the last time I put up a tree? Eh, the ornaments were removed by the 7th. The lights came off just after Valentine's day. (Yes, I'd hung hearts on the tree to make myself feel a little less silly.) The tree itself finally came down by St. Patrick's day simply because I didn't feel like making four leaf clover cutouts. . . rules and practice are two very different things.

kaff said...

Live closer to your in-laws. Mine came over put up decorations at the beginning of December and took them down right after New Years. Otherwise I don't think they would have been put up at all :)

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the last anonymous. TACKY! I hate seeing Christmas lights and decor all year. I put up with it 'til mid January and then I just want to rip the neighbors lights out of the socket myself. Get a grip!

The Wiz said...

Take them down. You will feel better.

AzĂșcar said...

I also had friends who had a Valentine's tree, then an Easter tree, it was kind of fun.

I got upset at my husband for chucking our cards two days after Christmas (we were still getting cards, for Heaven's sake!) He started taking down the ornaments and broke them all for the cause of having everything down by New Year's. I could have killed him. Keep them up as long as you like.

Ang said...

Jake's aunt has everything down and put away the day after Christmas. She is a little OCD, though. We were pretty reasonable this year...Decorations went up the weekend after Thanksgiving. They might have gone up earlier had we been in town. We took everything down the weekend after New Years...except the Christmas Tree candle holders in the bathroom we forgot. Going to the Container Store for new storage bins made the cleanup fun.

I find it surprising how many trees are just now being left out on the curb for collection. Guess you aren't alone!

Anonymous said...

I agree with both previous anonymouses. When I still see lights and decor up after about January 10th, I just assume they are the kind of people who can't manage to get things done in life. Either too busy or too lazy.

Hollywood said...

Hmmm... I'm too busy and too lazy so I guess I should just stop beating myself up about it and enjoy the tree :)

Heather O. said...

Kill it. Kill it now. Put Christmas out of it's misery.

pflower10 said...

I have to admit that I just took down Christmas today as well. It does feel good to have it down, but if you just can't bring yourself to take down the tree might I make this suggestion to you....

MAY POLE....Yes! MAY POLE. All you have to do is lovingly chop off the superflouous branches of your majestic tree leaving the trunk behind and attach your cute ribbons to the top. Who will have the heart to tell you that your pine scented May Pole is a fire hazard?


Just a thought.

Colleen said...

I'm a bit of a scrooge, I guess. We don't usually get our tree up until after my birthday (Dec. 11th) and take it down soon after the new year. It's been too dang cold to take down the house lights though, so call us lazy all you want, I'm not risking frostbite!

Anonymous said...

Lazy, busy...who cares? It's your house and you can do whatever you want...especially since it's a fake tree and won't be a fire hazard.

You have always marched to the beat of a slightly different drum anyway!

lbs said...

Wow. I must be Scrooge because my tree comes down Dec. 26. It's all about the build up for me--when it's over, it's over.

There's nothing wrong with being lazy, though judging from all of your Flaky Friend creations, I don't see how you could have possibly had any time to do anything else.