Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So long, Santa

It had to happen. On Sunday we took down our Christmas tree. We would have loved to keep it longer, but it was brown, and parts of it were snapping off with the slightest touch. It was also emitting that "dead tree" smell. Chances are we were violating several fire codes by keeping it in our living room, and a person probably could have set it ablaze by simply thinking of fire around it. No doubt it was time for it to go. At least the tree still looked healthy around Christmas, and it didn't fall on our child. That's really all we wanted out of it.

So right now, as I write this, one of the major symbols of all the joy we had this Christmas is lying on the sidewalk in front of our place, out in the frigid cold, next to several bags of trash. Our whole block has become a graveyard of Christmas trees, as many of our neighbors have disposed of theirs. Welcome to January, forever the hangover of the holiday season.

The end of the holidays is hitting me harder than it has in a long time. Perhaps it's because of the stark differences between the Christmas season and the moment we're in now. During the Christmas season, we had warm, sentimental Christmas tunes sung by the likes of Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. Now, all day long, we hear a robotic Elmo try to get through "Happy Birthday" without sneezing. During the Christmas season, we'd have gifts wrapped in shiny paper covering the floor. Now all those gifts are unwrapped, including a robotic Elmo who, all day long, tells us a story about a wolf eating grilled cheese sandwiches with three little pigs. During the Christmas season, we all sat by the Christmas tree, admiring the glow from the multi-colored lights. Now the tree is on the curb, and all day long we sit around the robotic Elmo, listening to its bad jokes about cows going out to the MOOvies... as I quietly plot revenge on my brother for buying our child this gift.

Instead of blaming my brother, I suppose I should blame Kyle for the heightened post-Christmas blues. My dad once told me that part of the fun of having a kid is reliving the holidays through them. This year that proved to be true. Kyle may not know yet what Christmas is all about, but this year he seemed to enjoy it. He had us read "The Night Before Christmas" and "The Little Drummer Boy" over and over again. He would point to his advent calendar and would help us add something to its nativity scene each day. Most of all, he would become excited about the tree. Each evening we'd go into our dark living room, and, as Kyle stood by, I'd fumble around for the plug. Once I stuck it into the power strip, I'd turn around and see Kyle staring wide-eyed at the tree, with a big grin on his face. Thanks to Kyle, I found myself looking back at the tree in awe. The reaction quickly became one of my favorite parts of each day.

Kyle did notice the tree was missing on the day we removed it. When he first walked into the living room, he looked at the corner where the tree stood. Upon seeing that it was gone, he then looked around the coffee table and checked the couch. Apparently he wanted to make sure we weren't hiding it from him. Once he determined that the tree wasn't stuffed under the couch cushions, he simply walked over to one of his toys and started playing with it. He took it better than I did. However, I'm guessing that won't be the reaction we'll get a few Christmases from now, when he understands everything. I'm sure the end of the season will hit me even harder then. Maybe I'll join in the crying. Jennifer would love that.

Then again, it's still more fun to blame the post-Christmas blues on my brother and that loud-mouthed doll. I think I'll continue to do that. Perhaps, by the end of the month, Elmo might also find himself on the curb. One can only hope.

1 comment:

Craig said...

The singing, joke-telling, dancing Elmo is evil. Pure and simple.