Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bye Bye Christmas Tree(s)

Today was a sad day at Duloc Manor, as we finally took down our Christmas decorations. I had gotten used to living in a house festooned with Rankin-Bass characters on the main floor and Charlie Brown and his crew holding their pagent in the master bedroom. I miss the leg lamp in the front room, too, and my little "Christmas Story" figurines. The house looks so empty now that it has reverted to its normal decor.

Still, I knew that it was time to move on. Our real tree was finally starting to turn brown and drop its needles, despite my frequent watering. Our little Charlie Brown tree, which I had moved onto the front porch after the Holiday Home Tour, had disintegrated into a brown-needled corpse. Our neighbors had already put out their Valentines Day flag, so I knew that I should move on to the next holiday, too.

Even though it's not quite as exciting as Christmas, I have a soft spot in my heart for Valentine's Day, since it's also my wedding anniversary. My husband picked the date, and he tried to convince me that it was because he is an incurable romantic. But of course I know the real reasons: 1) It's nearly impossible to forget the date; and 2) He can try to get away with just one present.

For the holiday take-down, my husband was even more motivated than me. He got out all the storage boxes and ornament holders and plowed right in, dismantling the silver tree in the family room with gusto. That's quite a chore because not only do you have to keep the individual branches organized by size, but you also have to take apart the three accompanying color wheels.

I was in the process of stuffing my face with lunch, but once I had finished my BLT, I headed to the front room to do my part. My "Christmas Story" tree was festooned with ornaments, old-fashioned big-bulbed lights, and tinsel. As I stripped it bare, I felt a bit sad. Even though it was drying out, it still gave off that wonderful fresh-pine smell that I had enjoyed throughout the holiday season. How I hated to give that up!

But there is a time for everything, and sadly, it was time to drag the poor little tree out to the alley for the Wednesday garden waste pick-up after I stripped off the decorations and hubby unwound the lights. Oh well, even though it had a brief lifetime, it was admired by literally hundreds of people as part of the Holiday Home Tour. It was also admired by my cat, Farquaad, who love eating tinsel at every possible opportunity.

Even though Quaad will miss his tinsel snacks, I know that he and Stitch were happy to see the tree go because it means that they can reclaim their place by the front room window. Normally, a carpet-covered cat "tree" sits right there so they can lounge in it and watch what's going on outside. But ever since late November, they have been banished from the room, and their kitty furniture was displaced to make room for the Christmas tree. They would sneak in whenever I opened the door and stare with dismay at the big, green, needle-covered intruder taking up prime real estate at the window. Now they can go back to watching the world go by in front of the house.

I also stripped our upstairs fiber optic tree of its finery, and I joined my husband in pulling down the garland and colored balls from the valances and shelves around our homestead. Without the holiday razzle dazzle, Duloc Manor was soon looking quite bare. I had grown accustomed to the Christmas decorations in almost every room, so it was quite a letdown to return to our normal low-key decor.

I had purchased lots of excess ornaments and decorative items for the Holiday Home Tour, so now it was up to my poor, long-suffering husband to figure out where to store them. Since most Floridians don't have basements, and since attics and garages are prone to killer humidity, finding adequate storage space is always a challenge. Thankfully, he had purchase some handy plastic bins that could go in the garage or under the bed. He managed to fit everything into the bins and some leftover boxes, and soon they were squirreled away for the next nine months.

We managed to complete the task of dismantling Duloc Manor's decor with only a couple of casualties. The aluminum tree was in the tile-floored family room, so of course at least one ornament had to fall off and shatter. It's a well-known fact of nature that the gravity under a Christmas tree exerts a force three times stronger than anywhere else on the planet.

If NASA could harness the ability of ornament glass shards to travel huge distances instantaneously, our astronauts would be able to visit the farthest reaches of the universe. I tried to sweep up all of the pieces, but of course I kept finding more...and always farther away. Those little bits of glass made it all the way to the kitchen and the foyer, and I won't be surprised if I find some on the front porch, too.

By nightfall, our home had been transformed back into its usual self. I was sad, but I know that it's time to move on with 2006. There are plenty more holidays: Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, Easter, etc., and before I know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be back for an encore engagement.

Besides, I don't have to let go of Christmas 2005 completely just yet. The Osborne lights at Disney World will be on display until January 8th...three guesses where I'm going to be on Friday night.

Click here for my Life Coaching website.

Learn more about Celebration on my website: www.celebrationinfo.com

No comments: