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Monday, December 26, 2011

Phew, It’s Over… Now What?

I have a friend who uses a snowman theme for her holiday decorating so she can leave some of her decor up through the end of January.

Not me. 

When Christmas is over I can't wait to put the stuff away.  I actually like un-decorating the tree!
In 1987, syndicated humor columnist Erma Bombeck wrote about un-decorating the tree.

She began by asking her readers if they'd like to have some quiet time, alone.  If so, she commanded:

Read my lips and slowly repeat after me: ''I am going to take the Christmas tree down.''
You will only have to say it once and feet will scurry, doors will slam, car motors will turn over. In 30 seconds you'll feel like the last person on Earth.

No one loves a Christmas tree on Jan. 1.

Next to the presidency, detrimming a tree has to be the loneliest job in the world. It has fallen to women for centuries and is considered a skill only they can do, like replacing the roll on the toilet tissue spindle, painting baseboards, holding a wet washcloth for a child who is throwing up or taking out a splinter with a needle.

How to undecorate the tree is my business. There's no one around to give advice, so I do it my way. I take the end of a rope of gold tinsel and give it a jerk. The tree spins around, and I clean the whole thing off in eight seconds. I eat the candy canes as I go along. Better me than the mice. I never bother with sheets to catch all the dry needles. I just vacuum them up until the sweeper smokes. Then I empty it and start all over again. The balls near the bottom I catch in a box, and the ones near the top I shake off and sometimes catch in midair.

In nearly 38 years, you'd think someone would be curious enough to ask what happened to that large tree that was in the living room last week. No one ever does…

This column originally appeared January 1, 1987.  It is included in ''Forever, Erma'' (Andrews and McMeel).

Contributed by Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine.


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