I find myself faced with something of an existential dilemma. For the fifty-nine years we've been married, I have adhered to my grandmother's tradition of getting the tree out of the house before the new year. A fairly sensible tradition with a real tree that is daily getting to be more and more a fire hazard.
But a niece of mine is in town, visiting her daughter, my great niece, and they are coming out for a visit (and some collards and black-eyed peas for luck) on New Year's Day.
'I kinda hate it they won't get to see the tree,' I told John, 'It's so pretty. And I'll have to really push to get all the ornaments put away before-'
'So leave it up. Take it down on Monday.'
I was surprised to find how very much I didn't want to break with this long-standing tradition. Did I really believe that leaving the tree up another day would bring bad luck? Or was this tradition simply a way of remembering my grandmother?
After wrestling with this problem a bit, I decided to remove one ceremonial ornament . . .
And to cut off a token piece of the tree and take it outside. Silly, yes, but it made me feel better. And perhaps it's a good thing not to let tradition or superstition stand in the way of common sense and hospitality.
But come Monday, out it goes!
How beautiful she is. She has served you well!
Sue does all of the decorating and underrating. It will occur soon, but I don’t think she has a fixed date.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year to you.
I am grateful to the original owners of our house, who bought live trees, balled and burlapped, and planted them in the yard right after Christmas. We have some majestic mature evergreens in our yard as a result. So much nicer to look at in winter than bare branches on deciduous trees, and they provide shelter for the birds.
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