Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Morning After

”No one loves a Christmas tree on Jan. 1. The wonderful soft branches that the family couldn't wait to get inside to smell have turned into rapiers that jab you. The wonderful blinking lights that Daddy arranged by branch and color have knotted themselves hopelessly around crumbling brownery and have to be severed with a bread knife. The stockings that hung by the chimney with care are hanging out of sofa cushions, and they smell like clam dip.

And the angel that everyone fought to put on top of the tree can only be removed with an extension ladder that is in the garage, and no one can remember how to fit it through the door.

Next to the presidency, detrimming a tree has to be the loneliest job in the world. It has fallen to women for centuries and is considered a skill only they can do, like replacing the roll on the toilet tissue spindle, painting baseboards, holding a wet washcloth for a child who is throwing up or taking out a splinter with a needle.”

- Erma Bombeck, from a column published From a column first published January 1, 1987

It's bot as bad as all that, is it? I usually spend the day after Christmas in a kind of warm glow. I can be happy about the season but I can also stop worrying about presents and wrapping and mailing things and whatnot. Plus my house always looks cleaner because all the gifts I purchased and all the wrapping acoutrements and such have left the building.

This year I (gasp!) didn't put up a tree, so I'm not having that ceeping edginess about the tree - you know, where you look at it's lovely glow and sparkly baubles and instead of looking pretty it starts to look like work? Yeah, I skipped that this year. My mother has gotten one of those white wire monstrosoties that is covered in white lights and looks like a shiny tree skeleton - it just folds right up after the holiday. At first this seemed creepy but the day after - when other people are chucking dead trees into their front lawns - it actually starts to seem pretty sensible. And no trees had to die in order to entertain my family this year.

1 comment:

  1. I am taking this opportunity, in the safety of this comment spot, to vent that I truly despised the holidays this year. I hated the rushing and the fussing, the senseless spending and my hollow delight in it all.

    In years past, I have relished in the holiday season. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything from the baking to the decorating and the giving to the receiving. I enjoyed spending time with our disjointed and disfunctional family, even though it meant starting to celebrate Christmas in early December and ending in early January. Despite it all, it was still a warm time of year.

    Not this year. I do hope this feeling goes away next year. I tried so hard to grasp onto the memory of my enjoyment, but it didn't happen. Not this year.