Posted by: cassymuronaka | February 22, 2010

The last Christmas tree on the block

My husband and I are going to disassemble the Christmas tree today. Or so we said. This is the downside of buying an artificial Christmas tree. For once you are released from the fear of fire, there’s no telling how long the average procrastinator can let a 7 1/2′ tree linger in a living room.

In this case, it has been about 68 days. The tree is a very nice one, purchased on sale at Target in mid-December. It was set up at the far end of the living room, right near the front door. It now is unadorned, but remains stately, still greeting visitors and announcing by its continued presence that this is the home of dawdlers.

During the last week of January, I stripped the tree of ornaments, which I lay tenderly at one end of my six-foot-couch. It took me another week to ponder the appropriate DVD to watch while carefully embedding the ornaments in tissue paper before placing them back in their boxes.

The DVD choice was crucial and needed to be something I’d already seen many times, with a storyline that required limited attention but also entertained during a long and tedious task.

It ended up a contest between “Independence Day” and “Last of the Mohicans.” I then settled on “Independence Day” because I figured if I picked “Last of the Mohicans,” I’d spend too much time rewinding and re-watching the scene where Daniel Day-Lewis grabs Madeline Stowe by the hand and proceeds to ravish her at the back of Fort William Henry. Or the part where Magua and his men attack the retreating British troops and Hawkeye cries out and begins running towards the camera, dressed in buckskin, with his long black hair flying in the wind.

All of this would slow me down too much. Listening to Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum banter comically in outer space seemed like a better idea.

Ultimately, I ended up watching both movies on two consecutive nights, because I am just that anal-retentive about how I pack up my treasured ornaments, most of which are the products of a 35-year-long annual exchange with my mother and sister.

Once the ornaments were re-boxed, there was a predictable delay in getting them moved back into the garage. My husband finally accomplished this in the second week of February. However, I was unsuccessful in my attempts to focus him on tearing down the artificial tree last weekend, so here we are on February 22. Valentine’s Day has come and gone. My son began the Spring semester of his sophomore year at college this morning. The hills of Southern California are rich and green after the much-needed winter rains. The real trees in my backyard, most of which only lost all of their leaves three weeks ago, already are budding.

And still, a Christmas tree stands in my living room.


  1. I feel obligated to point out that you could just leave it up all year, thus having a GREAT head-start on decorating for the upcoming holiday season.

    Several of my neighbors on this block keep their outdoor Christmas lights up all year, so it’s not like you’d be the only one.

    • This is quite true.

      Your wife also pointed out that her lights are still up.

  2. Haha, I win; mine has been down for weeks now! Want to know why/how/wtf? BECAUSE I DIDN’T DECORATE IT!!!!!! My main pleasure with my Christmas tree these days is to take off my glasses while sitting at the computer and gaze over at the tree and its lights, which become gorgeous, hazy circles of glowing color due to my lousy eyesight. Don’t need ornaments for that, and I don’t have to worry about my thugs knocking off and shattering beloved treasures while I’m not around!
    Now, I will admit that in taking down the tree, I did NOT get it back into its original box. David (Cari’s, not yours) had put it up for me on T-giving, but I couldn’t fit it back into the box, so I left it partially assembled, dragged it up to the loft, and threw an old sheet over it. With any luck at all, the cats won’t figure out a way to pee on it before next year. (If they were male, I’d be more concerned than I am.)
    And a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to All!

    • I thought about leaving it up through St. Patrick’s Day…..

  3. p.s. your dog doesn’t match your decor at all. I think you should trade her in for a beagle.

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