January 4, 2015

When to Take Your Christmas Tree Down

This year, I was especially angry to see people taking their trees down on December 26th. Maybe it's because I'm still waiting for snow, and still half expecting to wake up in PA on Christmas morning. Or it could be because it's January 4th and I still haven't received all of my Christmas gifts in the mail. Or it could be because I woke up on New Year's Day not able to move my head - with a tweaked shoulder injury thing and I literally can't take the ornaments off the tree yet.

Anyway, I researched it and it's actually bad luck to take your tree down before the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany are over (so ha!). Sidenote - Google autofilled my search query and asked if I meant "when to take pregnancy test" or "when to take creatine." No, Google. Stop. These days, Epiphany may be celebrated on the Sunday between January 2nd and 8th, so today is probably the first day it's okay to take the tree down without getting a hefty heap of bad luck this year. I might take down my snowmen/tacky ceramic figurines/non-tree Christmas crap today and wait til Tuesday to take the tree down. I seriously don't need any more bad luck this year - I already can't look to the left.

I grew up in a Protestant household, going to church more often than I probably wanted and I never knew the 12 days of Christmas started on Christmas and lasted til the Epiphany on January 6th. I mean - what? The Christmas season doesn't start on Black Friday? We're supposed to get trees on Christmas Eve? We really shouldn't be working til after Epiphany? Tell that to Ebenezer "Corporation" Scrooge. Although come to think of it, January 6th was the day my grandmother always took her tree down. And wait, what's Epiphany again? Oh, when the 3 Wise Men finally made it to visit Jesus in the manger. You mean, they camped out in a barn for two weeks, waiting for these foreign dudes to bring them gold and... herbs used for embalming mummies and in face creams? Something like that.

But your tree is dying and making a mess? How about don't put it up in November next time. Or get a fake one and some pine scented candles. There was also that time when I was in high school that we left the tree up til Valentine's Day and put cut-out, paper hearts on it - according to my scientific research project, that's bad luck too because you're taking the old into the new - bringing your baggage along. You have a small window to get that tree down and out - don't screw it up. 

PS Epiphany is a Christian feast day, so don't forget to make your 3rd turkey in a month. How sick are you of turkey at this point? I'm contemplating going to Mexico for Thanksgiving 2015 and drinking margaritas instead. I don't think I can stomach turkey leftovers ever again and we didn't have turkey on Christmas - I'm just still sick of Thanksgiving turkeys. But really - in England (the Motherland) - Wikipedia tells us to light up the yule log, have mulled cider, fruitcake, and such. After Epiphany, we head into Carnival season - leading up to Mardi Gras. Worlds collide.

I think somewhere along the way, we truly lost the meaning of Christmas. These traditions and meanings are being taken out with the garbage bags of wrapping paper. Truly sad. Is it just like that in America? I feel like traditions aren't as wispy in Europe. Is that true?

Which brings me to my other "issue" - how am I still not living in England? Why did my family have to emigrate? Can we go back to 1701 and tell ol' Pappy to just chill out and enjoy the beautiful countryside and the lovely accents of our people and stay put? Then we wouldn't have to work during the 12 days of Christmas and we'd be enjoying a fruitcake today, planning out our next 6 week vacation. Bah! Humbug.

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