Saturday, January 8, 2011

Taking Down the Tree

We had a spectacular tree this year, but it started dropping needles like crazy a few days ago, so we knew it was Time for It to Go. I spent several hours de-Christmasing the apartment, which included taking all the petrified boughs and light strings off the mantels and removing the dozens of greeting cards we taped to the front door. Putting away the holiday decorations can be a melancholy chore on a dull winter afternoon. But somebody upstairs, or perhaps next door, spent the entire day hammering away at something. (Or was it some kind of new hobby? Wii?) So I was too distracted, wondering what was going on, to be depressed. Sometimes even noise has its benefits. My decorations were down long before they were done building their ark, or canoe, or whatever.

I was glad to get rid of all the dead pine and cedar branches, but felt sorry to part with this:

Even if you aren't in the mood to set up a tall, lighted pine-needle factory in your living room, you can still get a lot of holiday bang for your buck by displaying a pile of ornaments in a big bowl. (This is the same blue-and-white transferware bowl I filled with pumpkins in October.) We liked having it on the coffee table and the cats never investigated it. They were too busy resting from their holiday revels:

But keeping a bowl piled with delicate glass balls around for more than a few weeks is asking for trouble in a four-cat household. I'll recreate it next year.

I find it depressing to take down all the decorations this early in January. I kept two "fresh" wreaths: a plump little one with a beautiful red bow that's above the bed, and the pinecone-covered one in the living room. They still look great and smell like Christmas, so they can stay a few weeks longer — until all the Christmas candy and cookies are gone, and the hyacinth and narcissus bulbs I planted a few days ago are ready to bloom.


  1. I took down Christmas slowly beginning January 3rd. My system involves a large, labeled storage box for each room, plus special boxes for the tree ornaments. The pictures, knic-knacs, etc. that come down when I decorate rest in the boxes from which I pull the decoration, garlands, etc. Then reverse. Many calories burned, I hope, on excursions to attic!!
    We had a momentous season. Our daughter and her boyfriend were married (We have a son!) This was the first year in twenty years she didn't help choose the tree. She is a college student, dances, and works, so the drive home to Maine is a challenge. We started a new tradition and drove down to Boston to see their tree. MaineMom90

  2. bowls of favorite simple decoration!


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