If you are the type of person who throws out your tree the day after Christmas, you may as well stop reading this post now! I leave my Christmas decorations up through Epiphany at least, and sometimes lots longer!
When I was growing up we didn’t even decorate our tree until Christmas Eve. In my mother’s household, the door to their playroom was closed and locked several days before Christmas. A note appeared saying, “At seven o’clock and not before, you’ll find the key to unlock this door…” Poor Santa not only delivered the toys, he put up the tree and decorated it, too! No wonder he didn’t want anyone coming in before 7AM!
Times have changed and trees go up before Thanksgiving. (I personally believe Thanksgiving deserves its own decorations of pumpkins, leaves, and corn stalks.) It is often derailed by the fast approaching Christmas Express! Maybe because I don’t put my decorations up immediately after Thanksgiving, I feel as though I need to spend more time with them after Christmas.
I do have artificial trees. That was something I gave into because evergreens gave Dennie asthma. They do allow me the flexibility to choose when I want to take them down. This year there are only two. One in the family room and one in the living room. (I have put up as many as five!) The few ornaments I put on the living room tree have been removed daily by the cats. And yes, even though I bought a smaller tree and put it on a table, they still snapped a limb off!!
I’m not sure who designated evergreens as being for Christmas. Yes, they are the primary green living thing in the dead of winter but why only enjoy them in December? The lights are much more soothing than the evening news and the house is so much more cheerful with the accents of red and green. When we remodeled our kitchen, I had the cabinets painted dark red specifically because they look lovely at Christmas!
When Dennie and I were first married, a life insurance agent came to see us in mid January. Of course our tree was still up! Dennie explained that I loved Christmas and didn’t want to take it down yet. When the agent returned in March with our policies, he looked meaningfully at the living room. “Where’s the Christmas tree?” He asked.
The message of Christmas is surely meant to be held in our hearts throughout the coming year, why not allow the beauty of the Christmas tree to linger, too?