I have a confession to make. It is with much chagrin that I must admit – I still have my Christmas tree up and lit at my house. Crazy, no?
I didn’t plan this decorating gaffe but I’m secretly still enjoying the outcome. As with any self-respecting woman who tries to stay on top of things like this, I made plans to take down my tree much earlier. I always purposefully leave up my nativity and tree until after Jan. 6 in honor of my Catholic upbringing as that is the Epiphany, or when the wise men arrived at the manger. I like the tradition, which acknowledges the real 12th day of Christmas. So on Jan. 7 I summoned the appropriate ornament boxes from their storage spot. But this year something happened that stopped my efficient need from removing this lone Christmas decoration. My son, who is 23 and has never once in his life had an opinion on such things, declared that I should NOT under any circumstances, take down the tree. Now, he never commented throughout the season that he even liked the tree so I was taken aback. Here was this man-child telling me how cozy the lit tree makes him feel as he walks through the house. He even did a little begging as I recall (and I’m sure he’ll deny this).
So – what’s a sentimental, near empty-nest mom to do? Having lamented for years that my kids didn’t seem to notice or care whether I decorated for any holiday or every holiday, I was inwardly touched. And so – my tree still stands with all it’s flashing light glory. I’m daydreaming of schemes for how I can justify it staying even longer as I too love the ambiance it brings to the room. Without it the room, although decked out with cozy creature comforts and warm color (red) on the wall, seems a tad bit cold. Tonight we’re supposed to have ice and snow. Now what’s better with that kind of winter weather than a cheerfully lit and blinking tree? Nothing. Tonight it stays.
But the Catholic guilt (or is it the decorator in me feeling guilty) is creeping in. The seduction of Valentine’s day is peaking it’s head as I do my errands about town. Alas, I see the end is nigh and this weekend the said tree must fold it’s unadorned head into the dark of the cardboard box and live out the rest of the year in the basement. Farewell cheerful tree – you’ve served us well, beyond your time.