There’s one more thing that the DeLong household must take care of as we move from the old year to the new year. That’s right — taking down the Christmas decorations, lights and of course the Christmas tree.
What? You say you’ve already taken care of all that. Wow! I can remember as a young boy growing up in some of the dreariest, coldest portions of Pennsylvania when we would have our Christmas tree up all the way through Easter. See, there’s not much to look forward to until all the ice and snow melts — which sometimes didn’t happen until April. Yikes!
Our tree would barely have any needles left, but it still helped keep our spirits high when we turned on the lights and decorated it with Easter eggs. My wife says its bad luck to have your tree up past New Year’s Day. Personally I can’t understand the rush to take it down. We spend so much effort, sometimes losing our religion, just to get the darn thing in the house and put it up — I think it only fair to enjoy it as long as possible.
My dad was jokingly criticized by our neighbors every year for not taking down the outside Christmas lights in a timely manner. It was not unusual to see those big red light bulbs hanging from the edge of the roofline in July —just in time for the July Fourth celebration. Yes, in our neighborhood we were considered a unique, if not dysfunctional, family. But we were happy.
Traditionally speaking and depending on what tradition you follow, Christmas trees were not brought into the house until Christmas eve, and then they were taken down on Jan. 5, which, if my math is correct, would be the 12th day of Christmas. Some folks keep their tree up until Jan. 6, the Epiphany. Some traditions suggest not having your tree up past Feb. 2, Candlemas, which is the feast of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
One thing is for sure, our Christmas tree won’t be down in time to make it to the chipper this weekend in J.F. Gregory Park. And even though I couldn’t find any supportive information for keeping your tree up until Easter, in a world where everything must be done efficiently and fast, there’s something refreshing about a Christmas tree sticking around after the holidays.
Happy New Year’s everyone!
DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Contact him at 912-531-7867 or Suites.StationExchange@gmail.com.