Pic of the day – The End of Christmas

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This morning’s Mass was the last of the Christmas season. The
poinsettias will vanish, the candles likewise. The large wreath that
is lit and raised over our heads at beginning of the service will
disappear with no sign of it’s ever having been there. The ribbons and
blossoms and lights will be removed from teh trees, and then the trees
themselves will be disassembled and folded away in storage for next
year.

Later, both at church and on Friendfeed, people were making noises
about feeling ashamed that their trees weren’t down already. I
reminded people that January 6 is the last official day of Christmas,
and that it easily extends until the Sunday after, when the church
celebrates the baptism of Christ. No reason to feel guilty!

We talked about different cultures and traditions as far as tree or
not, when to put it up (after Thanksgiving or on Christmas Eve, or
other times), when to take it down, etc. I remembered the first tree I
put up, when my daughter was an infant. I didn’t want her to not have
a tree. I found one in the alleyway behind the dorms, where the
students had discarded theirs when they went home. I got someone to
give me a ride with it, and we put the tiny thing up on a table, the
very table she now has in her apartment. I had no decorations, so I
tied big long loops of fat green ribbons on the branches, and made
lots of origami cranes to sit on the branches. I forget what I did for
the treetopper. I grew up with stars on top, but I see to recall it
may have been an angel.

This year our tree was similar to that first one. It’s been a tough
year. I went out a couple days before Christmas, and bought a four
foot artificial tree half-priced at the corner drugstore. Cleared off
the dining room table and linen cupboard, and put the wee thing on
top. I was still so tired and focused on cleaning, that I left
decorating it to the kid. We put up maybe 10 percent of the ornaments
we usually do. No star. No angel. I made an origami sort-of star, but
it fell down and remained down. We only turned the lights on for the
Monday after Christmas when we had family here. I meant to turn the
lights on again, and haven’t.

We almost took it down last week, but I rebelled. I’d hardly seen it!
The plan was to wait until Epiphany and then take it down. Then I
found out this week that my schedule for the next few months is
changing. I will not have a day off again until March. I know what
that means. I need to be super organized and focused, or I will not be
able to manage even basics like laundry for clothes, and getting
dishes clean. So I have a new plan. I will think about taking the tree
down sometimes around Easter, and will try to get the ornaments off
before Lent. No promises.

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