Delaying the end.

It’s time to say goodbye… to Christmas.

You thought I was going to say to 2012, didn’t you? Nope- I’ve already lovingly bid adieu to the past year and am forging ahead into 2013 with high hopes for awesome things. But Christmas?

Oh, Christmas. I wish I could quit you.

There’s a feeing of relief after the mess of the holidays is over- the clutter all wrapped up, boxed, and packed neatly away in the garage for another year. But I get really sad, too. The house feels naked and boring without all of the glitter and dazzle.

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There is no more joyous clang of brass bells letting me know my hubby is home. No secret stashes of presents in my closet in very strategic locations, no anticipation of the smiles that will beam from the faces of my loved ones on Christmas morning. No reason to wrap twinkly lights around your dog. No legitimate un-crazy reason to wear a Santa hat while doing the dishes. No NOG.

I mean, look:

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Holiday amazingness!

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Rest-of-the-year YAWN.

I feel lonely without the nostalgic memories tucked into every corner; it’s sad to place beloved items into a cardboard box to ignore for 11 months.  Confession: I hold on to the stack of holiday cards for the entire year. I can’t bear to throw away the beautiful photos and words of love from people I don’t see very often.

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Probably the most heartbreaking sign that the season has ended is the sad, droopy Christmas tree. Jimmy Stewart (our tree) was tall, proud, fragrant, stunning. Now, he’s brown, crunchy, saggy…depressing.

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Is it late to be taking down the dead tree, in the second week of January? Maybe. But for many years, the tree in my house stayed for so long that FINALLY getting rid of it warranted a party. It was a holiday. We called it MARCHIMUS.

Because it happened in March, you guys.

The tree stayed until March.

It didn’t stay INSIDE of the house- that would be creepy and a ridiculous fire hazard. It landed in the front yard (classy) and it somehow never made it to the curb. Let me tell you- by March, a Christmas tree is so crispy that it lights up like the 4th of July when you apply a flame. Here are a few shots from Marchimus ’07, ‘08, and ’09. (I’m so glad I take pictures of everything. Who’d want to forget this?)

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You thought I was kidding, didn’t you? This really happened….multiple years in a row. In my front yard. Neighbors were horrified. (I was also horrified.) The police came once. The fire department came twice. It was probably definitely illegal- and an absolute miracle we didn’t burn down our neighborhood. But as friends gathered and laughed and danced around the blaze, it was a beautiful thing. A new holiday- and happy memories- were born.

We won’t be setting Jimmy Stewart on fire this year. As we remove the mini-Betty, bacon, and disco ball ornaments, we’ll say a silent thank you to ol’ Jimmy for making our first Christmas in our new home so sparkly. We have plenty of new happy memories– and plenty of photos to show off once another five years go by.

Today, I decided that I’ll keep a little disco ball ornament above my desk, twirling and sparkling in the sunlight, displayed with other things that bring me joy and smiles. It will remind me of my first holiday season as Mrs. Howe, every day… until before I know it, it’s Christmas again.

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Everybody can use a little bit of Christmas, all year long. Don’t you think?

Just don’t burn down the neighborhood.

9 replies »

  1. I think the magic of the Christmas decorations wears off as you get into January, until they start to look forlorn and neglected. I prefer to take down the decorations promptly after Christmas, simply because it’s sadder than seeing them left out…
    With regards to burning Christmas trees…surely that’s what the BACK garden is for? 😉

  2. Everyone is having trouble bringing the Christmas decorations down! I know I am. I keep seeing trees in windows and lights hanging up in homes all around Chicago. I have this theory that if we could just move Christmas to mid- or late January, we’d feel like the holidays season lasted much longer and got us through a larger part of winter, and we’d be more ready to say goodbye each year. Alas! I love your Marchimus celebration!!! Such a fun tradition.

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