Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seasonal Shame

If seasonal shame isn't a real term, it should be, because I have it.

I'm not sure I talked about my not so secret shame here last year, but I did mention it on Facebook a time or two. Or six.

It had to do with a certain tree from a certain holiday that didn't come down before the New Year, as it should have. Instead, it stood in the corner behind the front door until....June. Yes, June. It was June before our Christmas tree came down last year. I use the passive "came down" because I can't remember who it was that finally took it down. I just remember that it was June before the dusty, cobwebby thing was finally gone.

Truth be told, I kept forgetting the darn thing was still up. Ours is a small house and the tree corner was right next to the entryway to my bedroom, but I swear I would go days on end without actually seeing it. Then, I'd be sitting in a chair in the living room and look up and startle and think, "Oh my gosh, is that still up?" I don't know how it could be, but I managed to be genuinely surprised every time I saw that darn thing.

I had all kinds of advice from friends: decorate it for Easter, hang herbs on it to dry, hang family pictures on it, leave it up until next year. As I said, I don't remember who took it down, but down it did come in June.

This year, I almost didn't put a tree up because, frankly, I didn't miss the idea of a Christmas tree yet. It hadn't been that long since we'd had one, after all. Finally, about the second week of December, the kids badgered enough and we put up a tree. And, bless Adam's heart, he took it down the first week of January, saving me from months of dread and shame. Dread that someone would ask me and I would have to admit the tree was still up, dread that I would have to dust the ornaments again. And shame that what is a happy family tradition in millions of households around the world has become nothing short of an annual pathological upheaval for me. Seriously, who fixates on things such as this?

Luckily, as I said, Adam took down the tree so I dodged that whole looming scenario this year.

But here's the rub. I may have disentangled myself from Christmas decor drama, but I fear I'm stumbling headlong down the path towards an Easter debacle. And it all stems from this darling Easter garland I bought yesterday with the remnants of a birthday gift card. The garland is so precious, and I already tried out an arrangement on the dining room table and am fighting the urge to get my pretty little egg cups out of the cupboard and artfully dye some eggs to add to a centerpiece.

But, I won't do it. I won't. I'm going to sit on my hands until March and I WON'T put out Easter decorations yet, because that would be just...well, weird.

It would be really, really pretty though. And isn't pretty more important than appropriate? I mean it would be REALLY pretty. And it would get us even more in the mood for spring and gardening and new chicks and flowers, and all of that is good, right? Right?

I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until March.

It may be that my children will always be mildly confused about when holidays are supposed to be celebrated. Kind of like my friend who never learned how to tell time, so even as an accomplished, beautiful, intelligent PR dynamo, she still has to pause when she looks at her watch to figure out what time it is. I hope no one will snicker at my kids the way I snickered at my friend the first time she admitted her secret shame. I'm not certain, though, that my hope for a well-adjusted upbringing for my children will outweigh my desire to see that garland on my table.

Oh well, my kids'll have years to figure out the seasons. Tomorrow, I'm getting down the egg cups and ironing my Kelly-green table cloth. I'm going to do it.

Then, I'm not going to let anyone into my house for the next 2 months. And I will swear my children to secrecy. And it will all be fine.

The end.

Love from the farm,

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