Undecorating the Tree

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empty christmas tree

Why on earth did I let my children put so many ornaments on this tree? Oh yeah, because they love it. And it’s so cute. But they aren’t the ones taking each and every ornament off that they so lovingly twisted strangely onto back branches.

The only fun part about taking off the ornaments is seeing what the oldest piece of newspaper I’ve used for wrapping is. This year’s winner was a piece of the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 1997. I also found a lovely movie advertisement for The Incredibles, Ocean’s 12, A Very Long Engagement, and National Treasure. So we played “guess that year.” My husband was FAR off. {In case you were wondering, 2004.}

We’ve had the same Charlie Brown-ish Christmas tree for about five years now. It’s pathetic. We’re looking into buying one cheaply in a post-Christmas sale, which we may have missed the boat on. During the ornament removal, Mr. V and I had a brief fight about real tree vs. fake tree. I’d love to have a real tree … just once? I was a wee child the last time we had a real one (unless that’s something I’ve fabricated in my memory). Mr. V is sternly against it. What say you?

We have too many ornaments. We’re considering returning the ones Mr. V and I made as children to our parents to make room for the lovely creations our own children have made.

I always wondered why my mom hung onto those silly little glitter-and-clay creations, the ugliest ornaments on earth. But now I know. Because just three years later I can barely remember the tiny 2-year-old Libbie who spread glitter glue, but I have a piece of her in my palm, and then wrapped in pieces of an ESPN magazine.

It’s time to wrap up Christmas. My sister’s birthday is Thursday and everything Christmasy must be put away by then. Years past I’ve tucked away the Christmas items as soon as we’re home, long before New Year’s. But this year, I’ve held on. It’s when the wrapped presents are gone and played with and we can just sit by the tree and read a book that I’ve felt slightly Christmasy this year. And now it’s wrapped up, tucked away, as we tuck mittened hands into pockets to fight the painful chill outside.

Winter can be bleak and ugly. I’ve decided to attempt a craft project and make a winter wreath to replace the Christmas one on my empty front door.

Maybe next year I’ll just leave the decorations up until Valentine’s Day.

4 thoughts on “Undecorating the Tree

  1. Christmas tree til Valentines? Then you can have the kiddos replace the ornaments with paper heart chains..then maybe some green shamrocks and on and on til next Christmas. A couple of my own would more than likely love it!

  2. Taking down the tree is much more work than putting it up. I also have noticed there is such joy in putting one up & sort of sadness taking it down. When I read your very last line, I busted out laughing. I have so been there with you. I have had those very same feelings. So good to know that you have too.

    • There is a definitely bitterness to the end of Christmas and the awaiting of Easter. I read something very profound about it recently but of course, I can’t remember where. Maybe in A Homemade Year? Anyway, I think most of us feel that – taking down the tree, unpacking, sending a kid to college? Relief but already missing what has slipped through out fingers.

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