Saturday, January 3, 2009

Denuding the tree

Time to take Christmas down and put it away for another. I greet this time with less than enthusiasm.

When we put the tree up, and get out all the ornaments and the sweet little decorations we've picked up over the year, we have fun. It is exciting to watch the kids look at their little selves, to remember my own past Christmases, to recall where and when certain items came from.

It sits in the corner over the season, an object of expectation. Gifts pile up underneath, friends come and admire, the lights glitter and flicker with impatience.

Christmas morning arrives, the tree gets less attention. After the initial lighting, the tree stands alone while underneath its limbs, the kids have removed everything for them in little stacks and begin ripping into gifts.

Later that same day, the tree, once such a symbol of promise, even just yesterday, now is obsolete. Of course you can't take the tree down on Christmas day so it stands. And stands, and stands.

The next few days it is still kind of cheery but mostly an wanted guest you're not sure how to get rid of. Finally, you tell yourself you'll take it down. And still it stands. You can't quite summon the energy to take it down. You know it means cleaning, and rearranging and organizing, and really, haven't you done enough of that already?

Down it must come. After the initial complaint of motivation, you quickly get the job done. And slowly you realize you like your house normal, without the tree, without the Santas, and the red and green and the extra stuff. It looks clean, tidy, kept.

I wonder at how fickle we are.

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