Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

De-christmasing
Jennifer Flaten

Before Christmas, no matter what the weather, I am eager to put the Christmas decorations up. I am so full of the holiday spirit. Neither wind, blizzard nor freezing rain will stop me from hanging light.

Oh, wait, that is the post office‘s credo, well, not the part about the lights, but still. Pre-Christmas I am love the glitter and lights of the season. Happily humming Christmas tunes, I shimmy up a ladder and risk life and limb to hang tiny twinkling bulbs from the frozen gutters. 

Unfortunately, that same feeling does not apply to taking down the outside Christmas decorations. On 26 December my attitude goes from “Boy, I can’t wait to I‘ll get around to it.” Of course, I don’t feel the same about the inside decorations, which I have boxed up and stacked up by the basement door by the stroke of noon on Christmas day.

Hey, what can I say? Once the presents are open the holiday is done. You are right I do bear a striking resemblance to the Grinch.

Outside is another matter. I adhere firmly to the rule, that if it is anything less than 50 degrees outside, it is much too cold to go outside and take down the lights. This rule is unbreakable.

This laissez-faire attitude doesn’t extend to my neighbours, who I am begging to please, for the love of god take down the inflatable Christmas decorations. Nothing is sadder then walking outside on the first day of the New Year and spying Santa still trapped in his giant snow globe. Not to mention Rudolph, please, this is 8 January, Rudolph needs to retire for the season; I am sure he and the missus have a lovely vacation to Hawaii planned.


Put him away or, at the very least, have mercy on me and pack away his 5000 lumen red nose. The red nose, which I am sure you didn’t notice, just so happens shines right into my bedroom. For the entire Christmas season, I felt like I was sleeping the Devil’s antechamber. Yes, I realize I am probably going there anyway, especially after Rudolph meets with his “unfortunate“ accident, but I don’t need to be reminded of it every night.

My lights hanging from my gutter are an entirely different thing, besides once the holiday is over I am much too cheap to turn them on. Eventually, I will take them down. Especially after I catch the squirrels using the dangling lights like repelling lines--you laugh but last year I caught, them swinging like Tarzan across the lights.

Considering it is January and I have my “can’t got out if it is less than 50 degree” rule, I fully expected to spend Saturday curled up inside reading a book, but thanks to global warming it was nearly 50 degrees outside. I had no choice but to take down the damn Christmas lights. Okay, so maybe I didn’t take down the lights. I supervised while the kids took down the lights.

They thought it was a grand adventure to climb the ladder. Yes, I held the ladder. To take the lights down is great fun. Who am I to rain on their parade?  If they think that is fun, wait until I introduce them to the fun of cleaning the gutters!

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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