Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Signs of Christmas?

Presidents' Day is over but lots of our neighbors still have their outdoor Christmas decorations up, in varying states of dryness, brownness, disarray, and death. Some of my Garden Club wreaths are still on doors as we head into Month Three.

Some of us (don't look at me!) still have indoor lights up, too. I think I actually spotted a lit tree last week on Commonwealth Avenue.

I love Christmas but enough is enough. So I recently inspected the apartment for leftover holiday stuff and, I have to say, I don't have a perfect score but I've done pretty well. At least I can justify make good excuses for what I have.

Our last balsam wreath, the one that always gets totally obscured by pinecones, was laid to rest more than a week ago, decently before Valentine's Day. No Christmas cards linger on my desk, not even the one with my cute baby great-nephew, which didn't arrive until late January.

I spotted one hydrangea spray with glitter that I hadn't bothered to put away, but it was up high in a vase, mostly out of sight, and not terribly Christmasy.

There are glittery pinecones mixed into the bowls of plain ones I keep around all year. I consider the glittered ones to be "wintry" rather than "holiday." So there.

I don't count Christmas-themed cat toys, since they don't belong to me.

I also refuse to count all the Christmas music we're still listening to because all of my MP3s are jumbled into one huge, unsortable playlist on my husband's ancient iPod. We need to update our sound system. So a typical playlist is a Chopin waltz, the Clash, a big-band version of "O Holy Night," the Beatles, Gregorian chant, Joan Baez, Arcade Fire, "Silent Night" and Nick Drake. It's not my fault. I try to click through the carols when they turn up but I forget, especially when I'm staring at my glittery pinecones.

Then there's the Christmas candy. We are making a valiant effort to finish it off as quickly as possible, although I wisely (or foolishly) skipped all the post-Valentine's chocolate sales. When it's gone, it will be easier for us to try to eliminate everything with added sugar from our diets for a month, something we initially planned to be doing now, since this is the shortest one. We got side-tracked, mostly by cookies. But it will happen: we both have to shed all the pounds we've gained since Thanksgiving so we do well at our annual check-ups. And because Easter candy is coming.

There's one last item and it isn't going anywhere. It's an ornament I got at Anthropologie last December and didn't have the heart to pack away:

He sits on the bedroom mantel. He looked great hanging him from a doorknob but I had to move him to higher ground because Harris.

On the night of the Super Bowl, around half-time, my husband was in despair. I took the creature from the mantel and pranced it around in his direction. "This is the Flying Jackalope of Good Fortune," I said. "If you make a wish, maybe you'll get it." The rest is history, and the kid stays in the picture.

What about you? Is your tree gone? What about the wreaths, garlands, dead poinsettias, fruitcake, cookies, and cards? Do you still have wrapped presents sitting around, waiting for people to show up because you are too lazy to mail them? (Me, too, but they're decently hidden in a drawer.)


  1. We don't decorate for the holidays, a residual effect of The Hubby working in retail for many years. I do, however, display received Christmas cards, which were removed last month. We did buy a long set of LED twinkle lights, which are hung around the ceiling in the dining room; we enjoy the soft light and don't consider it Christmasy at all. Oh, and my Christmas cactus plant is blooming again NOW...never had that happen before. Usually only blooms once at Thanksgiving...

  2. We do have some cheerful lights on the deck. they are now on for only 4 hours an evening - down from 8! They will get turned off at the end of the month.. and we have candles in the windows of our living room - but just til the batteries powering them give up the ghost. A nice reminder of our little town of...

  3. I'm going to have to make sure the wreath is down before the weekend :)

    And that isn't a Christmas ornament.. that is so totally the Flying Jackalope of Good Fortune


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