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Getting Rid of the Tree

The Guideposts executive editor shares why taking down his Christmas tree makes him feel down.

Christman ornaments, boxed up until next year
Credit: Susan Vineyard

My least favorite task in the New Year? Taking down the Christmas tree.

Some people like to leave it up for weeks, admiring it, remembering the fun they had around it, letting it rain a torrent of dead needles on the rug until they finally cart it out.

Not me. I’d rather get rid of it as soon as possible, shelving Christmas for another 360-some days. Every once in a while I get a little sentimental, boxing up an old ornament, something the boys made in nursery school out of dyed noodles, yarn and glitter, or stumbling on the first glass ball we got when we were first married.

But then I get all efficient, unstringing the yards of lights and stars and dinosaurs (also from when the boys were young). This year, I did it in 45 minutes, dragging the tree off to the pile where it’ll get chopped up and recycled.

Still I came inside feeling a little sad, wishing maybe there was still a little of that old cheer left in the living room.

“You missed something,” Carol said. We looked to the rug where there was a little caroler dangling from a gold thread. I picked him up. Everything about him reminded me of the fun we’d had at the end of the year. Singing, celebrating, seeing old friends, being with family. I could still feel the glow inside without the tree.

“Let’s leave him on the piano for now,” I said. Just the right thing to prolong the season.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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