Our Christmas tree is still up, so evidently I don't practice what I preach on this blog. We're not that far off-schedule; we usually leave it up through Epiphany, the first Sunday in January. But now two Sundays in January have come and gone. Snowmen have replaced Christmas decorations in most other places in the house, but the tree lingers, standing tall just inside our back door.
Boxing up the final remnants of another Christmas is always a little sad. Not that procrastinating makes it any less sad when it finally happens, but it does temper the sadness a bit. Leaving the tree up is a way of letting the season linger as we march into gray days that lack the sparkle of December.
Still, the tree has to come down, and once it does, we will once again be surprised by how much larger the room feels. Another box - this one holding the pieces of a new bookcase - leans up against the wall in the man cave/playroom promising tidiness and organization in place of white lights and ornaments. When the tree comes down, the shelves will go up, and the room will revert to its former function - a place for books, coats, shoes and all the things that get tossed, dropped or set down when we enter the house. Although soggy socks and weighty backpacks are poor substitutes for the wrapped gifts that were stacked neatly on the floor a month ago, it is time to bid Christmas good-bye. Past time, really, and time to look ahead instead.