Today is January 25, one month after Christmas. Please answer the following questions with "Yes," "No," or your preferred, colorful equivalent of "Oh, shoot!" or "Oh, my God!"
1. Do you still have Christmas decorations on display? (Outdoor wreaths are exempt for about two more weeks unless they are brown shadows of their former selves.)
2. Have you found a place for each of your presents? (Extra points if that place is the Salvation Army.)
3. Do you still have leftover Christmas food? (Candy doesn't count unless you have a ridiculous amount. Fruit cake doesn't count if you are planning to give it as a gift next year.)
4. Are you still looking forward to sending out your Christmas cards?
5. Do you continue to hum, sing, or whistle Christmas carols or "All I Want for Christmas Is You"? (If the latter, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.)
6. Are you feeling smug because you took down your tree in the past week? (Gotcha.)
7. Is your excuse for any of the above: "But Christmas will be here again before you know it!"?
8. Assuming you removed your decorations in a reasonable timeframe: are your floors still dusted in pine needles because you couldn't be bothered to vacuum afterward?
9. Are you the romantic type who enjoys having electric candles in your windows all year long? (Residents of downtown Bethlehem, PA, are exempt. It's an unofficial city law in the historic district.)
10. Is your excuse for any of the above, "But, like Mr. Scrooge, I say, 'I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.' So lay off my balsam fir and electric train set."?
11. Are you still wearing your Christmas sweater because it's "warm and cheerful." (Ten points deducted for owning a Christmas sweater.)
12. Is your excuse for any of the above a seasonal depression or post-Patriots-playoff trauma?
13. Is your excuse for any of the above, "But I have an egg-nog problem and I need help!"?
A. Give yourself as many points as you want for each "No" answer.
B. Deduct twice as many points for any other answer.
C. If you answered "I don't know" to any questions, please take a self-guided tour of your residence and possibly your psyche.
D. If you have to go to the emergency room, don't forget to bring a sweater (NOT your Christmas sweater), reading matter, and snacks.
E. If you answered anything but "No" to #12, purchase some quality "daylight bulbs" or, if you're a Patriots fan, get over it. They deserved to lose that game; they sucked. If you answered anything but "No" to #13, go here. You are not alone, but I'm not sure you'll love the companionship.
F. If you can take immediate steps to eliminate any problem answers, get right to it. I won't tell.
How I Scored:
Not perfect. See above. How can we bear to eat those cute candy sleds, which took me so long to make and are mostly Hershey's bars, which aren't so tempting? (Some of my relatives are having the same problem.) The wreath doesn't look as dead as it is because it is so saturated with pinecones. I love pinecones as well as the fact that this overwrought design would get me permanently banned from the Garden Club's annual wreath-decorating fundraiser.
I threw out a second wreath and found a cache of Christmas cards (from other people) just two days ago. I'm not counting the Trader Joe's Candy Cane Cookies as a "Christmas" food stash because I'm deliberately hoarding them for year-round consumption.
And I refuse to be responsible for Christmas-themed cat toys....
But I also confess I haven't found homes for a couple of presents. I plead extenuating circumstances: I received a giant LED camping lantern from a thoughtful relative (who has never seen this apartment) in case of another Hurricane Sandy-esque power outage. It's sitting on my bedroom floor along with a package of 12 "D" batteries because I have nowhere to put them. I'd given that same relative a tiny LED flashlight on a lanyard for the very same purpose (and he actually lost power for a week, as we did not). And then he refused to trade! During our first-ever neighborhood blackout last March, we managed nicely with tiny flashlights and candles. I may decide to award the lantern to the lowest scorer on the quiz... so let me know how you did.