On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.....
The Christmas season has been peaceful. Gentle. Homey. And today, on the last day of Christmas, I have been sitting here enjoying my last morning with the tree. It's a beauty - tall and fat and brightly lit, covered with years of kid ornaments and angels. The stockings still dangle from the mantle, and the Nativity set is still above the fireplace (not its usual location, but a safer, more Boo-proof spot).
Christmas trees are magical to me. The light, the stately grace, the memories - it all combines to one big restful piece of beauty that stays an entirely too short time. But there are signs that it is time for it to go.
Yesterday Babygirl was helping me clean. In a moment of frustration, she asked, "Why is is so CROWDED in here??" Well, take out one ginormous tree and it'll be very roomy! She also said, sadly, "The tree looks like it is dying." Truth be told, it started dying when someone cut it for us, but it's been very springy and fresh for all its time here in the house. It is starting to look a little grey around the edges, though.
So today the bins and boxes come out, and the tree comes down. We'll pack up the lights, the ornaments, the Nativities and the candles for another year. The tree has seen us through the shortest days and longest nights, getting us to the point where we can see that the days are creeping longer and that the hope of spring exists, even though it is still so far away.
I understand that Christmas trees are essentially Pagan. But like the birth of the Christ child, it stands a symbol of life and renewal at a time of year where it is all too easy to lose hope.