The Christmas tree has been mocking me as I pass it daily in the living room, even starting to give off a strong evergreen smell in recent days, which seems weird. Anyway, it’s my day off, and so we took some time over lunch to start the job of putting away ornaments and lights – we’ll finish another day – which is akin to taking a band-aid off slowly.
Josh missed it – no doubt a result of his evil plan to get back to college before he had to do his part. Chip off the old block, I guess. One year Diane did it all on her own. That wasn’t good. Christmas tree untrimming should be a team sport.
And the task wasn’t so bad, I suppose. I got some wood together this morning and the fireplace was going strong. Diane actually read to us as we worked. The girls are home-schooled and she reads to them most every lunch. Yes, even juniors in high school like someone reading to them. Maybe even 49 year olds like that.
Before the job started, I was returning a faulty gift at Walgreens and ran into a friend who said she appreciated our family Christmas traditions, which I guess I have mentioned in a sermon sometime…like the family slumber party around the Christmas tree one night each season. Yeah, well, we didn’t check that one off or a number of others this year. Blame it on the new college kid, or Diane’s relatively new job at the library, or the girls in basketball for the first time, or 1,001 other things. Busy, I guess. But we did cut down the tree together and enjoy a family trimming party.
Putting up the Christmas tree with eggnog and Bing Crosby crooning is tradition. Taking it down is work…joy in reverse.
The kids all have their own ornaments that we (well, I guess Diane actually) has picked out for them through the years. I was tasked with putting Josh’s away. Humpty-dumpty was a gift around age 2 and he has been missing a leg for years, which seems somewhat fitting, but the appendage showed up under the tree today in a post-Christmas miracle. Apparently you can put Humpty together again.
That was the good news.
On the bad news front, there was the obligatory breakage. Astro the wonder dog fell to his death on our hard wood floors. There was brief mourning – Diane had grown up with the pup on her family Christmas tree. So she looked him up on eBay to consider a replacement. Someone had just sold the same Astro ornament for $75. Guess that’s not gonna happen. Diane wondered if she wanted Astro back for the memories…or the cash?
This is the hardest time of the year, when the light is brief and the darkness, long. Christmas is packed away. Bleak midwinter stretches ahead. Traditions are replaced by work.
But with hope I remember the days are getting longer. Before too long, Punxsutawney Phil will be prophesying the end of winter. And the joy of Christmas? Well, by my count, it’s only 344 days away.
Maybe we should leave the tree up this year. It does smell nice.
January 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm
I’m glad Jesus lasts longer than the tree we put up. But unfortunately for some the babe in the manger only lasts as long as the tree. And sadly for some it was only the tree.
January 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm
Yep – didn’t mention it, but we have far more than a tree we celebrate at Christmas, and the Savior never leaves! Thanks JoAnn!
January 15, 2014 at 8:37 am
Awww, Roger, this post is the saddest you’ve ever written! But, I understand the sadness of putting away Christmas decorations. And the changes that happen to traditions when families/kids grow older and change. It’s tough, isn’t it? This was Andy’s first Christmas in the US, and obviously our first Christmas season back, but things have changed because we’ve changed. We had a beautiful Christmas, but life changes as family changes. Those Christmases in Spain, we dreamed about being here. This year, I missed things in Spain.
Maybe that’s why I was ready to take everything Christmas down early. Or maybe it’s because I’m ready for spring! This being a homeowner and having to shovel is really hard work, haha.
Congrats to Diane on her job at the library. I still haven’t been in there to see the remodeling that happened there several years ago. And what a bummer about her family ornament – I’m so sorry to hear that.
On a happy note, spring is coming…and so is our Lord!
January 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm
So, my S.A.D. is showing, huh? Actually, it’s not so bad this year – as I am regularly sitting under a happy light. But I guess there was some melancholy coursing through my veins yesterday. Your last note about what and Who is coming would be a better end to this meditation. God bless, friend!