When should you take down holiday decorations? Personally, I hate taking down our tree. I like to have a little bit of the outdoors inside for a while, even if it is an already dead tree. I asked Mark when I had to take it down and since he knows my tendency to refuse, he replied "Well, I guess I don't want to still see it in February..." So I have some time left. Part of the problem is that our city will no longer pick up and recycle the trees. This is a problem for someone with a tiny little Honda. Getting the tree to the recycling center is a huge logistical problem. If you knew us at all, you'd understand why tying anything to the roof of one of our cars is just asking for trouble. A few years ago, we were subletting a condo from someone, and we took care of the problem by leaving the tree in the garage until it was crispy. When we had to move out the following May, it was still there so we took a hack saw to it and disposed of the pieces in garbage bags. I now have some idea of how murderers end up with body parts in black plastic bags. Sometimes it really is the only way to deal with things. Last year was no different. The tree made the short trip to the garage, where we saw it every day, reminding us to please put it out of its misery. When we had to move last August, it was there waiting for us. The new folks were already moving in as we were getting the last of our stuff out, and there it was, a symbol of our shame, in the garage. In a panic, and without a saw or a garbage bag, I called my inlaws to come over with their truck and take it away. I think they're still laughing at us. I can promise to be better this year, but I really think we need to be realistic. That tree will undoubtedly haunt us for months. We don't even have a garage anymore. Maybe it would enjoy the deck.
There are always people like my mother-in-law who goes to great lengths to make her home a winter wonderland and it's worth every second to see it. She does a beautiful job and could easily leave everything up for an extra week or so, but she takes it all down and bundles everything up to the attic by the end of the following weekend. The other side of the holiday coin would be the woman who runs the local Doll Hospital. There isn't a holiday that goes by that she isn't massively decorated and apparently her true holiday of choice is Christmas. You can't possibly miss the yard lit up like a landing strip, illuminating the nine, yes nine, inflatable Christmas Atrocities. There is a snowman, a tin soldier, a Chritmas tree, Rudolph helping Santa out of a chimney, Rudolph and Santa standing next to something that looks like a pile of presents, Santa on his own, Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger wearing Santa hats, Rudolph and Santa on an ATV (apparently the sleigh was out of service), and a rotating carousel that is supposed to look like a snow globe. To say nothing of the red and white lighted candy canes circling the house and lining the driveway and blinking lights that would do a convenience store justice on every available space. What would you like to bet that these are the decorations we're still driving by in February?