A Very Merry Confession  

Posted by Heidi in

My tree is still up. Sure, it’s leaning at an angle like a drunken sailor, causing the lights to burn in shame (quite the feat since they aren’t plugged in) but still up. This is troubling not only because I am (maybe) (probably) (I highly suspect) the only person I know whose tree is still (leaning) up(wards), but because the Middle Child’s birthday is on Sunday and the rule is that I must have Christmas packed away with the dawning of January 10th—no bit of tinsel or mistletoe or festive light or any hint at all can show its rosy face for the birthday girl’s day. (I made the rule—after all, her birthday should be about her, not a two-week-old holiday--but the MC rigidly enforces it.)


My trip to the Monterey coast is clearly responsible for my tardiness . . .


The time I spent at the Carmel Mission can take some of the blame, too . . .

I can remember failing to get it all put away by the 10th only once. It was eight years ago when the Little Guy was an infant. Back then the MC was only seven and too small to pose much of a threat. This year, however, she is turning 15, is taller than me and not afraid to make her discontent widely known. I’m hoping three days out of town (still packed up from that) and five down with the flu since the 25th will soften her heart and she will have mercy on me. Then again, she isn’t fond of Christmas clutter even when it’s Christmas. She did comment that she actually liked the tree this year—in spite of its slovenly posture—because it warmed up the room. (My heart felt a little warmer after that remark, as well.)



What do you think? Should I be reported to the Holiday Clean Up Committee or are we in this thing together?

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at Thursday, January 07, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

35 wise, witty and wonderful comments

We're taking our stuff down on Saturday and having a farewell (to Christmas) party.

January 7, 2010 at 12:11 PM

I think you have a good reason for leaving it up.

January 7, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Oh, yay! In my defense, I will be sure to have the MC read your comments. : )

January 7, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Similar situation here...the trimmings are long gone. The treeS are still standing, waiting for some man-hands to disassemble and put them away.
And I have absolutely no guilt about having a fake 9 ft tree in the family room
and a 7 foot live (tho needles are falling!) in the front room. In fact, I am wondering what to put there once they're gone.
Twinkle on, Sister. Twinkle on.

January 7, 2010 at 12:38 PM

We didn't have a tree this year (we spent Christmas in another state), but all of our Christmas Decorations are still up. I'm using as my excuse that we were out of town until the evening of Jan. 2nd, and since then I've been trying to organize the rest of the house for the new year, and the decorations haven't looked disorganized, so they just have to wait their turn.

Epiphany, with the twelfth day of Christmas was just yesterday, so you're not really late at all. Christmas as a season ended only a day ago - you're still very on top of things! (But knowing how teenagers feel, it'd still be good if the tree was gone by the tenth. I know - delegate the responsibility! To the middle child - she has a vested interest in seeing it go, right?).

January 7, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Good luck having it down by Sunday. You could always tell MC that if she wants it gone so badly she's welcome to help you take care of it... :)

January 7, 2010 at 12:56 PM

You do have lovely Christmas decor. . .

January 7, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Listen, I leave my tree up until Feb 1st every year. All of the Christmas decorations are taken down throughout the house, and even off of the tree, but I leave the tree with its lights up all the way through January as a kind of light therapy to get me through that month of inversion and grayness.

January 7, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Ummm....we had not Christmas decorations to put up, or take down! voila! Problem solved!

Now, as for your situation...I say put some birthday decorations on the tree and call it a birthday tree! Would that work?

January 7, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Monterey looks beautiful. And you are completely absolved for any Christmas remnants when anyone has the flu, much less 5 of you! Horrible to be sick over the holidays. Happy Bday to MC.
a

January 7, 2010 at 1:17 PM

I leave all my Christmas decorations up until January 17... which is my birthday and I can have Christmas if I want to!
:)

January 7, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Holy cow, you guys, it's good to know I'm not alone! I love the idea of leaving up the tree for light therapy, Kazzy. In that vein, I'm going to leave the triple strand of white lights on my mantle and the red berry garland to make things brighter.

January 7, 2010 at 1:24 PM

I took mine down the 26th this year. The thing was a huge fire hazard and besides I was not feeling very Christmasy this year. But yours is so lovely I could understand if you wanted to keep it up until Valentine's Day.

January 7, 2010 at 1:30 PM

I'm with Thora, Christmas decorations should stay up until Fete des Rois. On the other hand, my teenage daughter's birthday isn't until the 29th of January, so I have more breathing room...

January 7, 2010 at 1:50 PM

I'm sorry you've been sick, but so glad you got to go to Monterey! Do what you have to do, I bet the little guy would be a big helper too!

January 7, 2010 at 2:00 PM

We just barely took ours down yesterday. Running behind seem to be the theme of my life these days.

January 7, 2010 at 2:11 PM

You are surely not the only one. I wish I lived closer and I would come and help you. I agree with Barb, put that girl to work, but if she is anything like my teenagers they are more likely to just complain about things than do anything about it.

January 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Heidi, we took our kids to the coast and came home to Christmas clean up. I finally got it done this week, and so glad to have it cleaned up!

January 7, 2010 at 5:06 PM

I think it's very noble of you to make sure that Christmas is down for your daughter's birthday every year.

But some years it's just hard.

I had mine up until March once. I was sick and pregnant and my husband was doing his dissertation all the time and I had two other kids. Getting rid of the tree was not a priority in the least. Thank goodness it's artificial!

January 7, 2010 at 7:54 PM

I once had Christmas up until Valentines. So you're cool in my book! =]

January 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Man, I totally wiped the stuff out as SOON as the fam would let me. I need order. I need routine! Hear my cry!

Sorry...got carried away. It's only the 7th, you have time to work. :-)

January 7, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Twelfth Night (5th January) is when all Christmas Decorations should be removed so as not to bring bad luck upon the home. A healthy contribution to the ASPCA may possibly ward off such misfortune. Good luck to you.

January 7, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Rott--bwaaahhaaahaaaa! Hey, will I get a visit from a rott weiler?

January 8, 2010 at 6:23 AM

No you shouldn't be reported to the clean up committee. I once knew a lady who left her tree and decorations up from November 1st through January 31st because she loved it that much. I think SHE was a little crazy...

January 8, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Since the 12 days of Christmas didn't end until Jan 5, and the 6th was the Feast of Kings, you are only slightly tardy on the tree thing.

Would it make you feel any better that in 2008 we put the giant yard-sale-bought gorgeous tree up in our cluttered basement for lack of space upstairs?

You know the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" or the phrase "other things are more vitally important right now"?

That tree was up until May. No lie. There. I hope you feel better now.

I told my sister she couldn't borrow the smaller one we had this past Christmas, so we had one upstairs again. I took it down last Sunday.

January 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM

You guys sure know how to make a girl feel good! Maybe I should leave it up until St Pat's, huh?

January 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM

We just took ours down Tuesday so I think you are still within a reasonable timeframe! It's just so depressing to take all the decorations down. I like to use the Epiphany excuse for my slacking each year!

January 8, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Hey, guess what?! My daughter will turn 15 on the 12th! It's fun to think we were holding newborns at the same time :)

Thankfully she has no rules about the tree being down. I use the Epiphany as one reason to keep it up. The real tree went out yesterday because the needles were falling down down down. The fakey remains. It's just a tree, why all the hate? Other people leave ficus trees in their house all year long and they don't even have pretty decorations on them.

Last year it was up until some time in Feb. But my children ate everyday so I figure life was successful.

January 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I have no excuse, but my decorations are still up. I hope to take them down today, but don't hold me to that!

January 9, 2010 at 8:38 AM

I just packed mine away today. One of my kids has birthday in early December so I never decorate until after that.

January 9, 2010 at 2:52 PM

you can just leave it up for another 10 months, really taht isn't that long :)

sorry you haven't felt well ;(

January 11, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Well, I guess there is NO rule that says when Christmas decor HAS to come down. Only the rules we put on ourselves. So if you want your tree up -----that's good enough.

Glad you enjoyed your break in Monterey. I'd love to visit there.

Now, do you start decorating for Valentines day??

January 11, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Hey, my tree is still up too so will you report me to the Christmas police too, while you're at it.

The weird thing is I haven't noticed and I haven't made plans to take it down. But suddenly I feel a little awkward.

Thanks.

:)

Hey, I met the Old Boat Guy today and thought of you. He is delightful.

January 11, 2010 at 11:42 PM

My tree is still up and I light it every night....even though "Little Christmas" has come and gone. Since I decorate with snowmen (the best men, in my opinion), I leave everything up until March though, the tree usually comes down by now. I haven't been sick or out of town, just lazy....it's cold outside and I enjoy a big blanket and some old movies when it's cold...plus some hot chocolate and left over cookies....maybe this weekend it will come down but I'm not promising anything.

Wishing you the best in 2010,
Donna

January 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM

(We are totally in this together!!!)

January 21, 2010 at 8:28 AM

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