Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tree down. Finally.

I took down our Christmas tree yesterday. In our defense, we also put it up late; it didn't appear in our living room until December 19. And it took us forever to get around to taking it down, because we always enjoy doing it together, and we haven't had a big empty block of time at home together in the last two weeks. But yesterday we finally hit the point where we needed to get the tree gone, pronto. So I got spousal permission to take it down by myself and spent a few hours un-decorating it and un-lighting it.

This isn't as easy as it sounds. We've usually got a division of labor: I take the ornaments off the tree, and Laura packages them up. She has a complex, abstract system for packing the ornaments. Some of them have special boxes, some of them get wrapped in tissue paper and stacked neatly, some of them go in the generic ornament tub. Most of the ones with special boxes have special unlabeled boxes. And there's some esoteric logic underlying which ones get wrapped carefully and which ones get tossed in a cubbyhole of the big ornament case. The blown-glass pickle, for instance, gets wrapped carefully, even though it easily fits in the tub. It's special. Ditto, the mushroom. We have two boxes labeled "Bride And Groom Ornaments", and probably ten ornaments that fit that description. And I'm mildly nervous that if I packed them wrong, I'll get the disapproving look when it comes time to unpack them and put them on next year's tree. But a few hours and some frustration later, the tree was clean. I took it out back, where we'll use the needles and branches for mulch in the garden. It's one of the reasons we don't feel bad getting an actual live tree: we recycle it. Our garden contains five years' worth of our Christmas trees, and we like the idea of them hanging around the garden once their time in the house is over.

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