When I was a little girl, there came a time after the New Year that my mother would utter three dreaded words: Christmas is over. “It’s time to take up your things from under the tree.”
Say it ain’t so! How could Christmas possibly be over? Why, only a short week before, anticipation of Santa’s visit had hammered around my heart like reindeer hooves on shingles. Christmas over? The reality slowly sank in as I watched my mother carefully pack away decorations — the Styrofoam reindeer and sleigh that sat atop the TV, its red ribbon reins held in place with sequins and straight pins; the jolly Santa with a red flocked suit that had been purchased in the local general store; the mercury glass ornaments that I’d give my eye teeth to have now. They all slowly disappeared along with the tree and a dustpan full of needles.
There’s still a part of me that feels very much that way about “putting Christmas away”. While some of my friends can’t wait to “get things back to normal”–some of them heaving their tree out the door on Boxing Day–I stubbornly leave the tree up at least until New Years Day, sometimes longer. The work, the anticipation…it all seems so much to discard in one fell swoop.
Bah! Maybe I just have too much of a Pollyanna view of the world. Oh well, in another week, Valentine’s Day specials will be on the shelves, if they aren’t already. Time goes by fast enough as it is. As for me, I’m about to enjoy a glass of Baileys…in front of the tree.
Your community may be one of many that chips up Christmas trees for residents. Instead of contributing to the forest of dead trees left at curbside to be hauled off to the landfill, take your tree to a designated tree-recycling station–and carry home a bag of mulch for your spring garden. Contact your community’s solid waste authority for more information.