O, Tannenbaum and Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday we took down the Christmas tree.   It has always been a tradition to take it down on New Year’s Day—a tradition that extends from my childhood.   We always felt sad when we were children to see the decorations disappear.  To dull the melancholy that came with the end of the holidays, my mother would put the tree out by the incinerator (now banned because it pollutes the air).  We would decorate the tree’s branches with cubes of dried bread strung on thread.  That did help us feel better.  My sister and I never knew what happened to the tree after our bread cube ritual because we were swept back into the school routine.  It was probably cut into pieces and burned.  The smoke from hundreds of incinerators is one of my memories from childhood that my children never experienced.

Christmas Tree Fort 1958 -- Holly Hills, Arapahoe Country, Colorado

One year when I was still in elementary school, all of us in the neighborhood gathered up our discarded trees and made a Christmas tree fort.  You can tell it was a warm day because we are all in tee shirts.  What a scraggly bunch we were!  I guess we were beyond the bread cube strings by that time.

My entire family now owns pre-lighted Christmas trees.   Oh, we modern city dwellers!  We don’t have to worry about taking our trees to a local Christmas tree dumpsite where it will be mulched into ground cover for the city or county gardens.  Instead, we take the ornaments off, pull the tree apart, fold the branches up and wrap them with the enclosed pipe-cleaner style wires.  These we stack back in the box and store them in our crawl space.  Easy-peasy!   By the time the ornaments and other traditional items are wrapped and put in boxes for storage and the house is vacuumed and dusted, we are ready for a new year.  It feels good to be cleaned up, but the house seems a little empty and dull now.  Hanging the new calendar does help a bit.

Missing the brightly lighted tree, the angels, Santa Claus, elves and nativity scenes is undoubtedly what welcoming Christmas back in December is all about.   If the holiday season lasted all year, it would soon fade into the background!

There were many debates this year about the crassness of Christmas shopping and shoppers, the mixing of the religious with the secular, keeping Christ in Christmas and so on.  Whatever the arguments, the beginning of winter, the changing of calendars and the singing of Auld Lang Syne return every year.

Kitchen calendar

Cat Calendar

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6 thoughts on “O, Tannenbaum and Auld Lang Syne

  1. I vaguely remember an outdoor incinerator in our back yard when I was very young. I don’t remember seeing it used or when it was removed, but it was eventually gone.

    Growing up, we always had an artificial tree, so as an adult, I spent years experiencing real Christmas trees until I also succumbed to the convenience of an artificial and pre-lit tree.

    My tree is still up. It should have come down yesterday, but unforeseen circumstances prevented it. I’m not really sad about that. I’ll enjoy it for a few more days.

    • You must be a little younger than I, because the incinerator is a lasting memory for me. I was a bit of a fire bug, poking sticks in it when I was quite young, catching them on fire and pulling them out to watch them burn. Hmmm. Wonder where the adults were when I was doing that.

      I know I’ve had my tree linger too, but you can with artificial trees. Real ones are rather insistent about being moved because all the needles dropping, and then the ornaments, require quick attention.

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. We used to mold ornaments out of suet and seed … and string popcorn like garland on the tree, then put it out for the birds. We did artificial trees until 5 or 6 years ago when we switched to a prelighted artificial. I miss the smell of a real tree but not putting on and taking off the lights. And Muri is happy not to have the needles everywhere.

    Happy New Year!

    • I like the suet and seed idea, as well as popcorn. I haven’t had a real tree for years now, after the last one I had clogged my vacuum cleaner and I spent hours cleaning it out. I like the artificial prelighted we bought this year. It is so easy to use. I love the smell of the real thing, though. Maybe next year I’ll buy some real evergreen boughs.

      Happy new year to you!

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and your comment.

      I have been a cat lover since I was a child, so I usually have a cat calendar. This is the best one yet!

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