It is well into the second week of January, and our Christmas tree is still up. Not just still decorated, but aglow with colorful twinkles. Our outside Christmas lights are still on, stockings rehung and we haven't put away a single holiday decoration. Why do we delay?
Our neighbors typically remove any signs of the holiday on New Year's Day, or at least by the weekend following January 1st. Rarely, a family will keep their home decorated until Epiphany (Three Kings Day, January 6th). Our house is usually the only one still illuminating the hillside in late January. We seem to rebel against the social norm in our neighborhood.
There may actually be other people who think like we do, however. I realized this when I read an article by Roz Warren, When Should Christmas Lights Come Down.
… Is it because we are
so slow to decorate?
Typically, we are as tardy preparing for the holiday as we are dismantling it. We usually buy a forest service tree permit and cut a tree no sooner than the last weekend before Christmas. Failing to accomplish that, we purchase a much bigger one than we could typically justify, from a tree lot during their last-minute discount sale.
I have always assumed that our late-December decorating efforts are the reason for our tardy dismantle. The last two years have disproved that theory, however. Being completely ready for the holiday by mid-December did nothing to prompt us to undecorated the house any earlier.
… Maybe it is because dismantling is a daunting chore?
Our last minute holiday preparations could be the result of busy lives - or procrastination. Are we (gulp) just lazy about putting it all away? A lot of work is involved to get everything taken down, back into many bins, and stacked on the shelves. While I admit there is an element of dread involved with starting the task, I really don't believe that fully explains our mid-January "decked halls."
… Maybe it's because of the reason that we do any decorating at all!
The real reason for our delay, I think, is simply that we love how the decorations look, and how our house feels when it is decorated. In the dead of winter, the warm glow of the lights strung on the tree, railings and mantels is comforting. The smell of pine, and a memory associated with each and every ornament evokes feelings of love and family. We work so hard to make it all beautiful; I think we just find it painful to undo it all.
What is the latest you have ever taken down your tree and holiday decorations?
This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!