This article recently appeared on ChicagoParent.com where I am a regular contributor.
There is a very deliberate reason why I have an artificial tree. And it’s not because I enjoy making fun of my neighbors whose dead trees inevitably blow around our cul-de-sac while waiting to be picked up by the garbage trucks.
That’s just a bonus.
I have an artificial tree so I am not forced to take down my holiday decorations by a dying tree shedding sap and needles all over my living room carpet.
Yes, I used the word “forced.” You see, I love the holidays. I adore decorating my home with white lights and red and white garland that’s so bright and fluffy it looks like a scarf. My holiday-themed Rubbermaid containers full of painstaking labeled ornaments are like scrapbooks to unpack every year – memories of vacations past and childhood milestones. My tree is filled with generations of ornaments that are the only links to some family that I have left. Sappy right?
See how I managed to use “sap” in two different ways?
There’s just one problem. At some point it becomes embarrassing that I’m still turning on the Christmas tree (that’s perched in the front windows of my house) in the middle of January. The recent Polar Vortex gave me a little reprieve this year from my neighbor’s usual stares and snickers. But they are watching me to see just how long it’s going to take me this year before I knock off my hanging-on-to-the-holiday-shenanigans and get with the program.
Well, why can’t the tree stay up all year? It can be a “Love Tree” for Valentine’s Day, with families filling it with messages of love to each other that they place on it. Then, of course, there’s the whole Easter Tree. That’s already a thing – why can’t the trees we decorate be nice, full pine trees instead of spray-painted Charlie Brown looking twigs?? I’m sure we could figure out how to incorporate it into every holiday that we have.
Especially Arbor Day.
Better yet, let’s just leave the ornaments on it and don’t pretend that we are trying to fancy it up in to something that it isn’t. Protest I say! Keep the tree up all year long! Don’t we moms have enough to do without having to put away something that looks like this once a year?
Confession: It’s February 1st and there are still Christmas decorations out and about in my house. #CantHelpIt