We live on a busy Main Street in our little town. We have a large picture window at the front of our house. Each Thanksgiving weekend we look forward to the beacon of light our Christmas tree becomes along our bustling street.
But as the week of Christmas passes and New Year’s brings the month of January our Christmas tree quickly falls out of fashion. One year we left the tree up so long in such a visible place the neighbors began to ask out of concern if we were not well.
Nothing was wrong, of course. We just love our tree.
America is known worldwide for a robust celebration of Christmas. It is also noted for being the first to kick Christmas to the curb.
On December 26th many radio stations just a quickly switch off the Christmas music as they turn it on in November. It’s like it doesn’t exist anymore. Santa retreats to the North Pole – just a day before he was seen everywhere but now he’s an unwanted guest who has worn out his welcome.
And then there’s the unceremonious end to the Christmas tree – a sad sacrifice on the altar of Christmas past, exiled to the cold and dreary curb awaiting a fate worse than cremation.
But before you think you’re being efficient in getting Christmas put away before New Year’s we encourage you to consider these reasons for keeping that tree up a little bit longer:
The 12 Days of Christmas Begin on Christmas Day
The American version of the 12 days of Christmas runs before the holiday. In our neck of the woods some use the theme of the Twelve Days to do something special for a neighbor in the run up to Christmas, which is very cool.
But it is far from traditional. The 12 Days of Christmas traditionally run from Christmas Day through Three Kings Day. For many that is the traditional Christmas season and it is marked with religious devotion and significance.
America’s secularization of Christmas has caused us to lose this real season of Christmas – one that has been replaced by a consumer driven mind set. It’s too bad, too. There’s something to be said for extending the good will, cheer, and humanity in giving at Christmas.
You Likely Have a Safe Tree
According to those who debate the whole real versus fake Christmas issue in the United States 2 out of every 3 trees put up every year is fake.
For some it’s a practical thing. Real trees just cannot survive long indoors, especially in very dry climates like the American west.
For others it is a preference.
But whatever your reason, if you have an artificial tree, you’ve got no real reason for shoving it in a box on December 26th.
Unless you’re OCD or anal to an extreme degree. And I’m not making fun of people with real-life issues with anxiety here. The truth is that some really just want Christmas “put away” as quickly as possible because they view it all as a huge task.
These are the same people who gulp their holiday hot cocoa (the only time of the year they actually touch the stuff and then only to say they did it), refuse to drive in the snow to look at Christmas lights (too messy) and adamantly open their presents on Christmas Eve (an evil that society needs to eradicate).
In other words, they know nothing of savoring the season.
THEY need to be put into a box.
The symbolism of the tree deserves greater appreciation
The Christmas tree is one of the most sacred of symbols. It represents the Tree of Life, which is another name for Jesus Christ. The “evergreen” is no accidental choice in representing eternal life.
In other words, the Christmas tree is a statement of belief and a declaration of true rejoicing. That should be celebrated in many ways – including NOT taking to down the minute things are unwrapped.
These are the darkest days of the year
The tree has another symbolic connection – to light. Christ is the “light of the world”. During these darkest days of the year the tree adds hope and inspires one to carry on. The weeks after the winter solstice are the coldest, darkest days of the year.
Everything about both the sacred and secular celebration of Christmas is about overcoming those days.
It uplifts everyday conversation
You can’t talk about taxes, weight loss or kitten abuse while sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Just by it’s lighted brilliance alone it uplifts every day conversation.
Memories are made of it. Loved ones of Christmases past are recalled. By the tree we sing, we tell stories, we share love.
Why would you get rid of it?