If you had been outside my house last night you would have seen the following:
The taking down of the pitiful Christmas Tree. The poor thing was chopped down sometime this last year and left in our yard until we got around to completing the cutting of logs, and piling of branches several months later. It was already 1/2 dead, needles falling off, lopsided, curved trunk. Lately there was a solid carpet beneath it of fallen needles - the husband was done - "out today or else". It was decorated with just what was deemed unbreakable due to cat & dogs & children running next to it's instability. Pitiful, yet lovely in an almost Charlie Brown kind of way!
You would have heard the sadness in children's voices at the ending of the Christmas Tree, and a Mama who agreed that it was too early to be without - after all, more family was coming over on the 2nd for a Christmas Party.
You would have then witnessed the comedy of the Box Elder Branch, followed closely by the comedy of the Willow Branch.
I figured I had found the perfect solution - a branch wouldn't shed like the pine does, it would still hold our ornaments, still fit in our tree stand, still look pretty at night with the lights on it...
The first branch was brought in, and I easily put it up. The kids & I set to work decorating, it was 95% done when Vin decided to put the "necklaces" on - bead garland. He threw it at the tree, and it toppled on top of him. He was fine, no ornaments broke, so I hoisted it back up into place, warning him that we couldn't pull on the tree. I spent the next hour trying everything i could think of to get it to stand up again. I tried just putting it back up, but it kept leaning, and toppling. I tried putting playdough under it, cutting the bottom (3 different times), putting it in a pot of dirt - nothing would keep it up. I broke 2 ornaments, started dinner, sister showed up with my niece to stay the week, got part of dinner on the table, sister got ready to go, finally decided that I needed a different branch. Yes, I know, I should have just given up at this point, and been contented with our "yule log" that was decorated on our dining room table - but I just couldn't! I even undecorated it in case it was unbalanced from the preschool decorating (5 ornaments on one branch). So as my sister left, I went out and found another branch. This one a much lighter willow with what appeared to be a straighter stem.
Well, it had longer branches, and I nearly broke several valuable items trying to pull it from the kitchen to the dining room. I finally pulled it in and started pruning, then sawed down the trunk, and set it in the stand... twice. FINALLY! It was up. Unfortunately at that point I was so frustrated that I wouldn't let the kids help, and warned them repeatedly that they couldn't go anywhere near it.
And as I lay on the sofa, having put the children to bed, stretched out and enjoying the Christmas lights and silence, my husband returns from his work day and I show him proudly how the Christmas tree is gone, and the needles all clean up, and how lovely the new "tree" is, and he says "Why?" ppppbbbbbtttttt! I'm sorry, you're overruled, we want Christmas to last longer!
I love holiday lights & ornaments. Every year it is my one "splurge" to buy myself a fancy ornament. I used to keep them out all year, hanging in my windows, but they were getting in the way of the opening & closing of said windows so I've had to stop except for a few. I even used to have a red, fiber optic tree that I would keep out as my Valentine's tree - but that got "forgotten" in storage when we moved.
I don't like the urgency with which the holiday is packed away until next year - and yes, I am someone who keeps the pretty painted eggs out on display all year as well!