Yesterday was trash pickup day and the last day to get your Christmas tree disposed of for free. It’s a conspiracy. Apparently the city thinks you should be done with Christmas by now, but I’m not giving in. I’ll just have to use one of my two annual free bulky item pick-up days. I’m not bending under the pressure. They can’t make me. You should have seen our street yesterday. It was a Christmas tree burial site. Brian’s tree across the street was brown already — all the green drained from its needles. It was shameful. It should have been covered. No respect for the dead. At least our tree is not brown yet. True, the tips of some of its branches are starting to curl under, but that only makes it look like it’s being weighed down by invisible snow.
I’m not going to be intimidated by my neighborhood. Our tree is still up; our lights are still burning in the window. We just never got to enjoy Christmas this year. December is simply the busiest time of the year for the Catch. We never got to sit down and just enjoy the tree until our anniversary on January 4. It’s quite often that way with us. January 4 was a great day to get married, but not good for anniversaries. We’re spent by then. Money’s spent. Energy is spent. Everything’s spent. That’s when we build a fire, collapse in front of it and notice that there is a tree growing in our living room. How did that get there? Well, would you look at how beautiful that is?
It’s for this reason that anniversary gifts over the years are few and far between. “Don’t I at least get a small souvenir for sticking with you for 44 years?” said Marti as we enjoyed our tree for the first time. I did get her a card, though. It was the perfect card for us. Usually I have to use a blank card and write in it because none of the anniversary messages work for us. But this one had a picture of funky boots next to high heels, with the following message inside:
We may have different styles
But we’ll always be a perfect pair
I love that and I love you
It was the easiest card I’ve ever done. I only had to underline “I love you,” and sign it. That was it.
So that’s why we’re keeping the tree up. We simply haven’t had a chance to enjoy it, and it still looks great.
I took a walk around the neighborhood last night and found a couple of other neighbors still holding out. One of them is Brian across the street. They must have had two trees, because he’s the one with the brown tree out front yesterday, but there’s still a tree standing lit up in their front room. It might be artificial, but at least it’s still up. Way to go Brian! There’s also a house further up the street with its outside lights still on. I have yet to meet those folks, but I’m thinking about forming a coalition of diehards.
There really ought to be a precedent set for a longer season. It makes sense. It takes so much work to get down all the boxes from the attic, open everything up, decide what you want to put up this year and where, and then close up the boxes and put them back up in the attic. And then, when it seems like you just did this yesterday, you have to do it all again in the reverse, and everything goes back up, and suddenly it’s like nothing ever happened. Well something did happen: Jesus the Christ, the son of the living God, was born on earth to human parents, that He might atone for the sins of the whole world and be the first fruits of a new race of people free from sin and free to serve and love God for eternity, and His arrival that we celebrate at Christmas made all that possible.
Any excuse to celebrate the coming of the Messiah anytime is worthy of the effort.