(My grandson, Ethan, and his mom, Felicia, beside the tree)
I finally took the Christmas Tree down yesterday. Shame, shame on me! Martha Stewart would NOT approve! Yes, it's an artificial tree and there was no risk of fire (I don't think), but it was time. I didn't want to have to replace the Christmas ornaments with red hearts or ornamental replicas of dead U.S. presidents.
What I wish is that I had a trap door beneath the tree so that when the season ends, I could unplug the lights, push a button, and watch it automatically go to its storage spot in the garage, a plastic bag enveloping it as it descends. Then, when the next year rolls around, press a button and up it comes, ready for the season!
I've been decorating Christmas trees since Moby Dick was a minnow, as my Australian friend, Joanne, would say. We always had live trees--small, large, flocked, fir, pine, spruce. A couple of years during the 1970's, we even put a flood light with changing colors on the damn thing. (That's what the '70's were like, anything for a light show! Since I couldn't get to the Haight-Ashbury, I brought it to suburbia!)
After the second divorce in 1981, it was a dreadful effort to get the annual Christmas tree, and I did it solely for the children. I hated the holidays after the divorces. There was never enough money at that time of year for gifts, let alone a disposable tree, and getting it into and out of the various apartments was a nightmare.
One year, I left it up well into February and it WAS a fire hazard. I'd have left it until April if my brother John hadn't come over and taken it away in disgust, shaking his head as he walked down the stairs. We all watched as he tossed it over the cliff one windy day (we were living in a rented house overlooking the Pacific at that time), laughing hysterically as it kept blowing back up onto the ground.
Several years ago, when I saw an ad for artificial trees and thought they looked pretty good, I decided getting one would be the answer to all my holiday problems! I still had Monica, my youngest, living at home at the time, but she was okay with the idea.
All these years later, I still feel it was a good decision. The only problem with an artificial tree, though is this: The photos of the tree each Christmas always look the same, unless someone's in the shot. I'm thinking that, instead of putting the angel on top of the tree next year, I'll devise something to indicate the current year!