You should know that we have three totes of assorted things that get put up at Christmas. Every mantle space we have is covered with assorted snowmen and other Christmas themed stuff. And, we always put them up right after Thanksgiving – along with the tree which is always real. This year, because Thanksgiving came so late, we actually had the house decorated before Thanksgiving. I actually did the outdoor lights about a week before when we had a rare pleasant day to work outside. Yes, we are that couple. It is strange because my wife grew up in a culture and a country where Christmas was not celebrated. Me, I love Christmas decorations. I hate winter and I hate cold so it is a nice distraction to have pretty colors and lights to look at when it is cold and grey outside.
This leads to the inevitable discussions on when we should take things down. In her mind, I think she’d leave the tree up until the needles all turn brown and start dropping off. I’m too paranoid about fire to go for that and we do always wait until after New Year’s but it is these days now where a decision has to be made. I’m off work the next couple of days and I do prefer to get it all taken care of while I’m on vacation. Today would have been perfect except the snow gods have decided to curse us with some wonderful new accumulation and I’m not really all that keen on dragging a tree outside in the snow and cold. The same goes for the outdoor lights. I may unplug those but they will not be coming down today. I did decide to put away all of the other decorations which will help my wife adjust to the fact that we do eventually need to remove the tree. I think a couple days of just having the tree will be enough to convince her that it needs to come down as well. Oh, and while we do decorate jointly, I am solely responsible for taking things down. Not sure how that worked out but it is what it is.
Now, we come to what is the worst stretch of the year. With no Christmas lights to look at, there is precious little color in the world. The outside is nothing but grey and white and cold and dead. We do have many cardinals that visit the assortment of feeders we have set up so the small amounts of red are really the only break in what is truly a bleak landscape. Yes, I will admit that fresh fallen snow on evergreens has a certain charm but that fades very quickly the moment you have to step outside. The only good thing is that we’ve passed the shortest day of the year which means the days are getting longer even though it won’t be perceptible for quite some time. The bigger problem is that the next month is the coldest time of the year (and yes, I’ve studied average temperatures to know – this is how I survive winter by breaking it into manageable chunks). And January is also when we get the most snow. December was already colder and snowier than normal so I dread what January will bring although I know other places have had it much worse. (That doesn’t really help because other places have it much better)
If we make it through January, February is a little easier to take. Yes, it is still cold and February gets almost as much snow as January but, by then, the worst is over. Also February is a short month which goes by relatively quickly unlike January which has 31 long, cold, dreary days to endure. I do have a reprieve scheduled at the end of this month as my wife and I are taking a long overdue vacation to a very warm location so one week in paradise to help me make it through. Just have to grind it out through the next four weeks to get there.