Letting Go

This past weekend we finally took down our Christmas tree. I know some of you who like to take down the tree as soon as Christmas is over, and others who hang on to it till the month is over. Personally, I try and hang on to the tree as long as possible because it looks so beautiful (it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a procrastinator of course). I have a hard time letting go. Although putting the lights on the tree is enough to drive me crazy, I always love the end result. Christmas trees are very sentimental and even calming. I love gazing at the tree best at night, when it's dark. Sometimes we'll have a fire, some hot cocoa, and just look at the tree. We'll go down memory lane as we see some of the ornaments we've received from years past. Often just looking at it, helps me to slow down through my day and take a deep breath from the flurry of activity. Of course holding an infant in your arms who looks at the tree in wonderment also makes you pause and smile as you see sights through their new eyes.

So, I wasn't too surprised when my 5 year old held the same sentiments. Every once in a while I casually mentioned that the tree would eventually have to come down. And she would joke that she wanted it to stay up until all the snow melted. Finally, as I tucked her in bed one night, she asked what was on the agenda for the following day. I told her I thought it was time to take down the tree. To my surprise, her lower lip started to pucker. I asked what was wrong, and she blurted out that she didn't want to take down the tree. Clearly, the tree had become one of her favorite Christmas traditions too. Melt.My.Heart. I had a hard time not breaking down myself as I watched Kyra's little face swell up with crocodile tears. She wanted so badly to hold on to the holiday magic. Where would we put the tree, she wanted to know? Well, we'd have to throw it away I tried to explain gently. I tried to tell her that the tree wasn't drinking any more water, and that it had no roots, so it was dying. There was no consoling her, so I decided to hang on to it for a few more days.

I looked a couple days later, thinking maybe it could last one week longer, since we did have one more holiday party to go. But as I looked closer, I saw cobwebs on several of the branches, not to mention more needles on the floor. Yes, I would definitely have to take down the tree. My hubs told Kyra that unfortunately the tree definitely had to come down. After all, he said, it is a fire hazard being so dry. That was all it took. Kyra is very fearful of fires, so she suddenly changed her mind and was ready to get that tree out of here, NOW! Why hadn't I thought of that? Of course as I took down the tree I had to reassure her that we would be fine, and it was only a POSSIBLE danger and we were just taking precaution.

So, the tree is down and all of our Christmas decorations are finally put away. The house is back in shape and I smiled at the sight of a clean home....until my 3 year old tugged on my pants and said, "When can we put them up again?"

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