The Christmas tree and the decorations came down Sunday and I realized that, although I have hundreds of memories of putting up Christmas decorations, I have almost none of taking them down.
Perhaps that’s because the post-Christmas time frame is kind of a bummer. All of that holiday joy gets packed away and shoved into the attic, and now there’s nothing but three months of winter in front of you until baseball season arrives and makes everything right again (unless, of course, you are a fan of the Nationals, in which case stale old winter pain is merely replaced by fresh new springtime pain).
This year was a little different. My wife put on Christmas music as we denuded the tree, put away the Hippie Santa and removed most of the lights (the ones wrapped around the trees in the driveway, which take a lot of work to remove, will remain in place until we get better weather or are overwhelmed by guilt). The music definitely helped make this task a little cheerier. To wrap things up, I dragged out the tree and tossed it on the curb, then vacuumed about 2.3 million fir needles out of the living room. Three days later, the room still smells like Pine-Sol.
Perhaps Un-Christmas Day should be a holiday. It could have its own festive music (“You’d better not shout/you’d better not cry/you’d better not pout/I’m telling you why/Throw away that box or else!”) and its own traditional dinner of, oh, Chinese takeout leftovers and mismatched, bottom-of-the-bottle wines. Neighborhoods could compete to see who’s willing to leave the Christmas lights not merely up, but on, the longest. Children could have toy-breaking competitions.
Everything would be merry and bright again, or at least amusing and somewhat less bleak. That can’t be a bad thing.