Some people take their Christmas trees down by, say, the minute Christmas is over. December 26.
Other people take their Christmas trees down the day after New Year. Or by the end of Epiphany.
Other people might have their trees up through January, to help fend off the January blues. January is adjacent to December. It's not unheard of.
However, some people find themselves past President's Day and they might still turn on the Christmas lights, still on the tree, because, well, the ornament box is downstairs, plus those lights are still pretty, and after you've taken the dog for a walk, they look even prettier through the window as you come back to the house.
America, I will leave it to you to guess which of these people I am.
Thing is, I never intend to be this person. I intend to be the person who has a tree in a timely fashion in early December, and who keeps the tree up for a seemly period and no more. But every year. Every year, it is like this. It's kind of a thing now, my thing. I keep a tree that is little more than tinder strung with lights and be-baubled while the equinox is basically within shouting distance.
Today, my daughter, who was at my house while I was at work, texted me:
My heart leapt in gratitude. By the time I got home, there was nothing left but the needles. Lots of 'em. I made Gwen some chocolate milk and fed Naomi Cheerios one at a time while their mother finished the sweeping and the vacuuming.
My daughter: I hurried to get it done by the time you got home, so there wouldn't be any pictures or anything. Also, at first I was being all careful, unwinding the lights, but then I was all [makes frenzied ripping-the-lights-from-the-branches gestures].
As any sensible person would. Thank goodness my daughter is an enterprising, organized person who likes to help.
Even though, while I was working in the Writing Center today, sitting beside those tall, tall windows, I watched the weather turn from windy to stormy to torrential to hail to snowing--as in, winter's not over yet--it's near enough to spring that it's time to put winter holidays away. Fine, past time. No more twinkle lights, not till next December. I guess I can live with that.