I’m usually a “take down the tree as soon as the presents are opened” kind-of girl. Not literally the same moment, but usually within two days of Christmas day, the tree has been dismantled, the decorations packed up, and the millions of needles swept out the back door. One year, we were leaving for Christmas day and I actually took the tree down Christmas Eve after the kids were sleeping.
But this year, we needed the light to last just a wee bit longer. Needed to hold on to the shimmery brightness in the midst of early evening darkness and cold nights. We needed to gather around the tree with candles on the cabinet beside and read bedtime stories together under blankets. We needed to stave off the dissappointment of the day after the presents, the day after the celebrations.
So, we took the decorations (except for the lights) off the tree. We added some paper lanterns for New Year’s Eve to symbolize leading the light of the New Year into our lives. And then, on January 6th (Epiphany…or when the wise men would have reached Bethlehem), we took down the tree. We swept out the room, put all of the furniture back in place, and loaded the tree on the roof of the van. We drove to a friend’s house and had a Christmas tree bonfire.
I like it.