Friday, December 26, 2014

Procrastination or Celebration?




When is it time to take the Christmas tree and decorations down?  Is there a direct connection to when you take it down to when you choose to put it up? Are you really STILL celebrating the birth or are you procrastinating?   Hmmmmmmmmm.  Let’s ponder that. 

My mother could squeeze a buffalo nickel until he screamed for mercy.  For every dollar my dad made, my mom saved $1.25.  A lot of her talent for saving money had to do with recycling and reusing EVERYTHING.  

Here’s an example.

Every DECEMBER……(note - it wasn’t until DECEMBER!!!!) we would decorate the tree.  We brought out the boxes of decorations wrapped carefully in newspaper.  Breakable ornaments went to the top of the tree - thanks to some silly cats in the house.  Homemade ornaments in the middle and the bottom.  Garland that had been on sale in 1972 at Hills Department Store went on the tree despite the lack of shine.  Then came out the brown paper bag. The paper bag was in itself an antique.  You know when you’ve rolled and unrolled and filled and unfilled a paper bag until it is soft and tender and simply “used?”  That’s the bag I’m talking about.  There are no holes in it.  It still works.  Why get rid of it?   

So here comes the flat bag out of the box of ornaments and tinsel.  The bag is opened to reveal……….the icicles.  The icicles that were in the markdown aisle also at Hills Department Store at the after Christmas sale.  I’m guessing maybe they cost $0.10.   They are glopped together, crinkled like crazy, and flat as a pancake, but here they go on the tree.  My sister and I tried our best to separate them, spread them out, and made that tree the best-looking tree possible.  And guess what?  It was.  There’s nothing like Christmas as a kid. 



So back to my question.  When do you put up the decorations, and when do you take them down?  Here are my thoughts.  I take a lot after my mother.  A lot.  I mean a lot.  However, I buy new icicles every year.  I throw caution to the wind and purchase a new pack.  I love throwing them on the tree.  You can’t place icicles.  They have to be tossed with precision.  You can’t have too many in your hand, and you can’t have too few.  You need just the right amount to toss so that they float down in just the right place.  You know it’s the right place when you finish the decorations, sit down on the couch with your cup of coffee, recline to admire your work, and wait for the heat pump to kick on.  If the tree icicles are in the right spot, the gentle breeze of the heat pump will blow them across the lights.  The reflections on the breakable ornaments, the homemade ornaments, and the antique childhood ornaments will bring tears.  The icicles are important.  They are crucial to the tree…….(so is the heat pump.)  However, this feeling of reminiscing and reflection simply doesn’t happen until AFTER Thanksgiving.

 I don’t like mixing holidays!!!!  Thanksgiving is a time for turkey, stuffing, pumpkins, pilgrims, cornucopias, and football.  Then comes the MEGA-SHOPPING day (which has now been ruined thanks to retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day which is a TOTAL SIN!!!!!)  on Black Friday.  One stop you have to make is Target to stroll through the Christmas decorations………..begin to get the feeling………begin to feel the desire to decorate……..begin to wistfully crave putting up the Christmas tree when you get home.  But first, you must purchase the new pack of icicles.  If Black Friday shopping has not simply KILLED YOU, then I recommend stopping by Kentucky Fried Chicken for the big bucket of Original Recipe with slaw, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  Throw it on the table and tell everyone how lucky they are to have you and then enlist every able body to haul up those totes of decorations and 

GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!!!  

Yep, that’s right.  The day after Thanksgiving is tree-decorating day!!




Now, when to take it down.  Some people say you MUST leave it up until New Year’s Day.  Here’s my thought about that subject.  Is it truly because you are celebrating the birth of Jesus all the way up to January or is it simply because you can’t bear the thought of taking that mess to the basement?  It is procrastination or continuing the celebration? 

Here’s my guideline.  When the Alpha-male, beastly, gigantic, scary beast of a PIT-BULL named Boscoe seems to have had his fill of icicles……..when he looks at you with the dumb look that he is known WORLD-WIDE for………when he has icicles hanging out of his mouth………




Please look away from the following sentence if you have a weak stomach

- When he has icicles hanging from his butt due to mass consumption……… then it’s time to take the tree down.  Let’s be honest.  After the presents are gone, the trashcan is spilling over, and the wonder and excitement have passed…………everybody goes back to work……life goes back to normal………the decorations need to be packed……and the used icicles need to be thrown away.

And Boscoe’s stomach will begin to get back to normal.


But the outside lights are the husband’s job and might just have to wait till New Year’s Day…….or February 4.  




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