Why My Christmas Tree Becomes A Valentine's (And Easter) Tree

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
Christmas decorations saying happy January eleventh
Elizabeth Broadbent

Nope, I’m not taking those holiday decorations down.

Sorry, Homeowner’s Association. Hope you enjoy that Christmas flag flapping in the breeze until February. You hinted that we should close our blinds, or at least turn off the Christmas tree lights at night. Fuck you. If there’s a Christmas tree in my house, it’s going to blink white light/multicolor/white light/multicolor until that tree comes down. Which may be mid-March.

One year, I took all the decorations off our tree and turned it into an Easter tree. All it took was some fake eggs and some glitter and felt. Some people might say it would be easier to take the damn tree down in the first place. Those people would be fucking wrong.

Let me drop a truth bomb on you, Universe. I have three kids, two dogs, one husband, a job, a house to keep clean, meals to cook, sisphysian amounts of laundry, and I already wake up at 5 am so I can spend an hour in the quiet of my own head before all this madness begins. I don’t have time to take these damn decorations down.

Sure, I could rip off a garland or two in passing. But the sustained amount of time it takes to de-decorate the three trees the kids gleefully put up, pack up the shelf full of nutcrackers, re-package the numerous nativity scenes —no way. I don’t have time to drink a cup of coffee before it gets cold, let alone devote myself to one extra task for an entire day.

Guess it’s time to dust those nutcrackers then. We can make the 7-year-old do that. He still thinks dusting is a game.

You can judge me all you want. You’re going to say that you made time to de-decorate your house, probably before the traditional deadline of January 6th. And if you, with your busy life/ten children/twin pregnancy managed to bulldoze entire snow villages, I am clearly just L-A-Z-Y. Right?

Well, talk to the hand, bitches. This is my house, and I decide what’s important.

Right now, in this order, I value sanity, happy children, food, and clean laundry over a lack of a Christmas tree. And if that means that tree sticks around and ends up de-decorated but with Valentine hearts stuck all over, then Happy fucking V-Day. Come in and have a chocolate. It probably occupied the kids for an afternoon, too. Bonus.

Maybe you’re wondering why I bothered to put up all these decorations if I wasn’t going to remove them in a timely manner, like I’m violating some kind of Code of Christmas. Guess what? My kids really, really, really like Christmas. A lot. They like having a big tree and a little tree and a tree in the guest room and a Harry Potter tree (oops, I guess that means we have four trees). They like to make Christmas tree garlands and help Daddy put up the snow village and unpack all the nutcrackers. In fact, they really, really, really love nutcrackers. So we Christmas. We Christmas a lot. We do it in a big rush the day after Thanksgiving, and the kids know it, and it’s fun.

It’s not fun to take down the decorations, however, and they’re really too little to help much with that part. You can’t trust a five-year-old to wrap glass ornaments. They aren’t stools high enough to rip down the garlands they made. They can’t do much but hover at your feet and go “Mom mom mom mom mom mom mom” and demand sandwiches while you’re trying desperately not to trip over their adorable asses with spiky glass shit in your hands. Plus, we all have a case of the post-holiday blahs.

So the decorations stay up.

They’ll stay up until something lights a fire under my ass. I’ll drink two Red Bulls, get a babysitter, and make my mom help me pack this shit up. I’ll throw some of it out. I’ll vow to go easy on the decorations next time.

But next year will roll around. The kid will whine. I’ll remember how much the baby loves nativity scenes. I’ll remember the garlands they made when they were 5, 3, and 1. I’ll remember how much we all love nutcrackers. And I’ll break out all the boxes.

Because it’s Christmas, bitches. And in my house, it sometimes lasts until March.

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